For Bantayan resident and supertyphoon Yolanda survivor Josephine Caspe, life goes on after tragedy—with a little help from the internet.
Caspe, who lost her husband Pedro in the 2013 tragedy, has since taken to Facebook to scale up her food business. “After my husband died, I used the small amount of money I received from the insurance company as my capital to sell labtingaw,” she shared.
Labtingaw or dried fish is a delicacy from Bantayan and is popular among her patrons, both online and offline. “I receive inquiries and orders through Facebook all the time,” said Caspe, who hails from Ticad in Bantayan.
“Facebook and my mobile phone are a big help for me. If my customers want to order labtingaw, I am just a call, text or Facebook message away,” she added.
After PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. rolled out Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Bantayan and the rest of Cebu, local entrepreneurs like Manang Josephine can now use social media and online platforms like Facebook to boost their businesses and reach more customers.
“By continuously expanding and improving our networks across the country, we are empowering small businesses like Manang Josephine’s ‘labtingaw’, as well as opening up communities to various digital experiences using our LTE-Advanced network,” said Mario G. Tamayo, senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering for PLDT-Smart.
Aside from Bantayan, Smart has also fired up LTE sites in the mountain barangays of Linut-od and Colawin in Argao, and Guba and Bonbon in Cebu City.
To date, over 80% of cell sites across Cebu now have LTE. In addition to the upgraded network in Metro Cebu, key tourism areas like Oslob, Moalboal, Daanbantayan, Medellin, Toledo City, Bogo City and Carmen have also been covered with LTE.
Expanded LTE capacity is also available in areas in Minglanilla and Talisay, while the service has also been rolled out in Badian, Balamban, Barili, Catmon, Madridejos, Sibonga, and Tabuelan.
LTE can also be quickly upgraded to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with capable smartphones. In Cebu, major cities like Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City already have LTE-A sites.
To date, Smart has fulfilled its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to cover at least 90 percent of cities and municipalities to address the growing demand for broadband infrastructure and internet access in the country. Supporting Smart’s mobile network is PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, now extending over 283,000 kilometers.
PLDT and Smart’s nationwide network transformation efforts are backed by a historic-high capital expenditure of P78.4 billion this year. The capex investments are to further expand coverage and to increase capacity to handle the exponential growth in data traffic, with the ultimate aim of delivering the best data customer experience.