Free Wi-Fi for 1st 30 minutes along EDSA starting June 12

MANILA, Philippines – Smart Communications Incorporated is set to provide free public Wi-Fi for the first 30 minutes along the country's busiest highway, EDSA.

Its parent company, PLDT Incorporated, said in a statement on Sunday, June 11, that this will benefit an estimated 500,000 daily commuters of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3), as well as passengers of the more than 326,000 vehicles that ply the major thoroughfare every day.

"With the Smart Wi-Fi rollout on EDSA, we are providing highest class data architecture connectivity for the thousands of commuters who pass through the MRT stations and ply the stretch of EDSA traffic every day, so they can boost their daily productivity," said Eric Alberto, PLDT executive vice-president and chief revenue officer.

The Wi-Fi service is free for the first 30 minutes for subscribers of any network, without a data cap. Users can extend their session by purchasing load cards, which cost P20 for two hours (valid for two days) and P50 for 10 hours (valid for 5 days). They can also top-up for P10 for 30 minutes (valid for a day).

The telecommunications giant said it collaborated with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for this service.

Aside from the 13 platforms of the MRT3, Smart will also provide Wi-Fi services on the street level along EDSA and even between MRT3 stations.

With a backhaul capacity of up to one gigabit per second, the telco giant said it can support up to 3,000 connected users. (READ: DICT to make free Internet more accessible)

Smart added that its deployment of Wi-Fi along EDSA complements its continued LTE rollout, which aims to improve indoor coverage, as well as increase capacity of cell sites to handle more calls, texts, and mobile data traffic.

"Through these investments, we are preparing for the coming of 5G, the Gigabit Society, and the Internet of Things," said Manuel Pangilinan, chairman and chief executive officer of PLDT and Smart.

PLDT and Smart have committed to make LTE progressively available to 95% of the country's cities and municipalities by the end of 2018.

They have deployed carrier-grade Wi-Fi services at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), at the Light Rail Transit (LRT), and in key regional airports, seaports, as well as transport hubs all over the country.

Smart also offers Wi-Fi in high-traffic areas such as tourist spots, hospitals, schools, city halls, and malls, among others. – Rappler.com