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Telecoms ready to manage surge in data traffic amid Luzon quarantine

The country’s two largest telecommunication companies said Tuesday their networks are ready to handle the surge in data traffic as demand for mobile and broadband connectivity among consumers and businesses are rising amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

“After a week of life under enhanced community quarantine, we continue to provide regular communications services to our customers and the public. Data traffic has grown by around 15 to 20 percent,” PLDT said in a statement.

“On the part of PLDT, this is not surprising given that we have provided a speed boost for our fiber customers in the Greater Manila area,” the company said.

PLDT said mobile data usage was also increasing along with voice calls and short messaging service..

It said a certain amount of substitution was also taking place. Some of the traffic that used to originate from offices are now coming from homes.

PLDT said the fixed and mobile networks of PLDT and Smart have the capacity to handle the increased traffic in data, calls and SMS.

“Having said that, we are not standing still and are taking steps to expand the capacity of our networks, particularly for data. We are, for example, increasing the capacity of our international cable networks which will improve our ability to carry Internet traffic which comes mainly from overseas,” PLDT said.

“We are also significantly increasing the capacity of our domestic transport network by utilizing our newly installed transformed transport fiber network,” it said.

Globe Telecom said the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines jumpstarted the adoption of telecommuting among businesses in the country, thereby raising the demand for mobile data and broadband connectivity.

“Given the present-day realities with enterprises deciding to adopt flexible work arrangements, employees need to be able to collaborate and be productive anywhere they may be and in real-time, for businesses to continue to operate efficiently. That is why we are doing our best to provide our clients with the tools to help them optimize the way they do business,” Peter Maquera, senior vice president for Globe Business, said.

He said cloud-based software would allow employees to easily work together on a project in real-time even if they were in different locations.

He said that through G Suite, members of the workforce could easily store, access, edit and share their files wherever they may be. Office 365, on the other hand, offers a feature-rich set of Microsoft programs for those who work well with a desktop at home.

Zoom Video Conferencing can enable teams with a reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones and room systems.

These initiatives are also in response to the government’s challenge for telecom companies to level up their game with the enactment of Republic Act 11165 or the Telecommuting Act last year.

The Telecommuting Act was envisioned to ease the traffic problems in metropolitan areas. It institutionalized telecommuting wherein employees are allowed to work from an alternative workplace using Information and Communication Technology tools.

Topics: Telecoms , data traffic , mobile data , broadband connectivity , Luzon quarantine , PLDT , Globe Telecom , coronavirus disease 2019 , COVID-19
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