Online learning in Tignapoloan National High School, a far-flung community in Cagayan de Oro, just got a boost from PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart). For teacher Francis Jay Damit, this luxury was quite unimaginable many years ago. Damit shared, “With the newly built tower, it is now easier for teachers to participate in online activities and trainings. Our students are also exploring more actively online.”

With the recently fired up Smart LTE cell site in the area, students and educators are also more digitally connected. “We use social media as a tool to communicate with our students and sometimes do virtual classes with them. Before, we thought it was impossible,” he added.

Dansolihon National High School, in a neighboring barangay, has also benefited from Smart’s network expansion in Cagayan de Oro’s hinterland areas. Teacher Glennford Anero said, “We are thankful for the Smart cell site that has been greatly helping us with our online classes. Now we have fast connectivity even inside the classroom.”

To help keep them connected, Smart also donated LTE Home WiFi devices to the teachers of Tignapoloan and Dansolihon. “With Smart’s fast network, we can use these devices to reach out to our students, especially for virtual activities,” Anero said.

To support the growing mobile data needs of more communities across the country, Smart has increased to 75,400 its total base stations nationwide as of end-December, supporting its 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G subscribers from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi. This includes around 7,200 5G base stations. Smart’s mobile network is supported by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, which is at 743,700 kilometers as of end-December.

PLDT and Smart’s relentless push to provide connectivity for all is aligned with the group’s long-standing commitment to help the Philippines attain the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure and SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.