Describing this airport as “the second most important international airport of the country,” Eric R. Alberto, EVP for PLDT/Smart and president-CEO of ePLDT, said the inauguration and launching of the free wifi services is in response to the government’s call to make more inclusive internet use of the public.
“And that is exactly what we are doing in the fi rst 100 days of the governance of Secretary Art Tugade in his role as department secretary for transportation,” Alberto added.
“We are halfway to our mission and we will move towards NAIA in a couple of weeks with a 1 gigabits per second (gbps) wifi service. All-in-all the fi rst phase of this partnership undertaking with government involves 18 airports, three train stations and three rail systems (LRT 1 and 2 and MRT 3) and two seaports as an initial phase,” he said.
“We will provide free wifi to the public and this will be of the highest quality in terms of customer experience,” he added.
Clark is the seventh airport to be installed with Smart Wifi nationwide and the fi rst in Luzon, according to PLDT/ Smart. The service is already available at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City; Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental; Bacolod-Silay International Airport in Silay City; Iloilo International Airport in Iloilo City; Roxas Airport in Roxas City; and Zamboanga Airport in Zamboanga City.
Smart Wifi will also be reinforced in all four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as well as in the airports of Cebu, Dumaguete, Kalibo, Caticlan, General Santos, and Laoag.
This airport was identifi ed by the Department of Transportation as one of 21 key transport hubs for installation of Smart Wifi as outlined in a landmark agreement signed last month by Tugade and PLDT and Smart chairman, president, and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan to strengthen data connectivity in airports, seaports, railways, train stations, and bus terminals across the country.
More high traffi c areas such as city halls, schools, hospitals, and malls, among others, will be covered by the service over time amid the increasing demand for more public wifi hotspots in the country, PLDT/Smart said. “The deployment in airports is just the fi rst phase of the nationwide rollout for Smart Wifi as we address the need of consumers for more wifi hotspots amid rising smartphone penetration and data usage. With a bandwidth of up to 1 gigabit per second, Smart wifi users will get to enjoy a seamless digital experience whether surfi ng the web for their favorite sites, or keeping connected with home and offi ce while travelling,” said Kat Luna-Abelarde, FVP and wireless consumer operations head at Smart.
An initial investment of P1 billion has been earmarked this year for the fi rst phase of the nationwide deployment of Smart Wifi , which will have a minimum backhaul of 1 gigabit. Higher bandwidth will be allocated for bigger transport hubs and sites.
The deployment is backed by the group’s robust and resilient wireless and fi xed-line network infrastructure.
“The sustained deployment of Smart Wifi in key gateways like this airport forms part of our commitment to bring the digital experience to more Filipinos by way of high-speed internet,” said Alberto.
“This is also aligned with our chairman’s vision of developing Clark as the alternate airport to the congested NAIA,” he added.