PLDT’s wireless arm, Smart Communications on Thursday said that they continue to implement initiatives to maintain its network leadership and quality, by expanding coverage and delivering speed.
However, they also involve “the pursuit of energy efficiency,” which translates to cost savings as well as lower carbon emissions.
“We are implementing multiple initiatives. For example, on the radio and access sides, we have a sleeping cell algorithm which enables the network to shut down a particular element when it is not being utilized, which lowers electricity consumption,” Eric Santiago, Head of Network at PLDT and Smart said.
Santiago shared this at a panel during the Mobile World Congress hosted by Ookla, the global leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence, which recently cited Smart as the Philippine winner for Best Mobile Network, Fastest Mobile Network for five years in a row, and Best Mobile Coverage.
“We have also implemented a good number of optimization initiatives – on our Self-Optimizing Network (SON) and with the help of our vendors – so that we utilize only what resources are needed by the network at any given time,” Santiago explained, adding that Smart is also looking at different antenna configurations to minimize power consumption.
“These initiatives are part of the PLDT Group’s continuous efforts to improve our network in order to fully serve our customers whenever and wherever they need our services. In addition, these support PLDT’s sustainability agenda, where we would like to reduce our carbon footprint as well as help narrow the digital divide by making connectivity and digital services accessible to more Filipinos,” he said.
As of end-2022, PLDT’s fiber infrastructure reached approximately 1.1 million kilometers, consisting of over 231,000 kilometers of international fiber and around 866,000 kilometers of domestic fiber.
Such infrastructure also supports Smart’s approximately 76,500 base stations, including more than 7,200 5G base stations and close to about 38,800 LTE base stations
PLDT’s fiber infrastructure is present in 68% of the country’s cities and municipalities, while Smart covers 97% of the population with its 3G, LTE and 5G networks.
These initiatives are aligned with the PLDT Group’s endeavors to provide connectivity to all, and to anchor initiatives on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) particularly on SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. These also reinforce PLDT Group’s commitment as one of the founding members under the Digital Infrastructure group of the Government-mandated Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) formed in 2022, with PSAC programs such as GoDigital Pilipinas aimed at expanding access to digital technologies.
Catherine R. Cueto