Mobile operators Smart Communications, Sun Cellular, and Globe Telecom said on Thursday, July 17, that network coverage has been restored in areas battered by Typhoon Glenda.
However, the telcos said there are still service disruptions caused mainly by loss of commercial power, transmission interruptions because of fiber cuts, and misaligned microwave radios.
The areas mostly affected were Southern Luzon and the Bicol region. Central and Northern Luzon services were largely unaffected, the operators said.
The mobile operators have also put up free calling and charging stations.
Smart Communications and Sun Cellular said that while they have fully restored mobile network service coverage in Metro Manila, network optimization activities are still on-going and as a result, subscribers may experience some level of degradation of voice and mobile Internet services in certain areas in the National Capital Region.
PLDT fixed line services are also being restored as repair of damaged facilities are completed and as commercial power comes back online. Currently, 81 percent of fixed line network facilities have been restored.
?Our engineers have been working round the clock to ensure continuity of services. Because of our continuing efforts to improve network resiliency, we were able to quickly provide mobile phone umbrella coverage to many of the affected areas to compensate for the temporary loss of some of our cell sites,? said Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT Group spokesperson and public affairs head.
“We have also quickly restored links to hard-hit provinces like Sorsogon and Catanduanes. To support our restoration efforts in these areas, we deployed Smart Satellite Services units beforehand to speed up communications among our teams,” he added.
Full normalization of services will, however, also depend on the restoration of commercial power in the affected areas, Isberto explained.
?We are requesting the public to be careful in clearing fallen trees and posts. Many of the fiber cuts affecting transmission facilities for both fixed and wireless were caused by accidental cutting of cables as fallen trees and other debris are removed after a typhoon,? Isberto said.
To assist communities and provide residents means to reconnect with loved one, Smart and Sun have deployed additional Libreng Tawag stations in Capantawan, Legazpi City (Top Up Office); Tabaco City (Top Up Mobile Office, Bruselas-Clemena Bldg., Llorente St., Brgy. Quinale); Catanduanes State University, Catanduanes; Sorsosgon Capitol grounds, Sorsogon City and Masbate City (Diversion Terminal, Brgy. Pating).
Residents may avail of the free call services in the following sites: Baytown Market, Brgy. San Isidro, Angono, Rizal; Tonsuya Elementary School, Malabon City.
Through Alagang Kapatid Foundation relief efforts, Smart and Sun also provided for Libreng Tawag in Morong, Bataan; Legazpi City and Sto. Domingo in Albay; and Lopez and Calauag in Quezon.
Free cellphone charging stations will also be opened up within the day in Smart and Sun cellsites in Batangas.
Meanwhile, Globe said company efforts to expedite recovery process, coupled with fairer weather conditions, have allowed the telecommunications provider to restore services in affected areas.
Yoly Crisanto, senior vice president for corporate communications at Globe, said the company is providing additional generation sets to mitigate power outage.
To help residents in areas severely affected by the typhoon, the telecommunications provider is now providing more Libreng Tawag stations.
Globe said it added five more Libreng Tawag and Charging sites in various parts of the country on top of the facilities set up at the Daet Elevated Town Plaza in Daet, Camarines Norte.
Libreng Tawag and Charging stations are now up at the University of Eastern Philippines, Catarman, Northern Samar; in front of Tradecom Office, Lapu-lapu St. and in front of Legazpi Public Market, Legazpi City, Albay; Merville Access Road, Paranaque City, Metro Manila; and People?s Hall, Brgy. Poblacion, Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila.
At the same time, Globe has identified the municipalities of Sto. Domingo and Malinao in Albay as priority areas for relief operations that will be conducted over the weekend.