PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Central Mindanao University in Maramag, Bukidnon are teaming up to roll out fast, free, and fiber-powered Smart WiFi in the state university to serve the connectivity requirements of its academic community.
CMU currently has more than 13,500 students enrolled online and more than 3,000 faculty members.
In the past, Smart has provided the university with smartphones, free SIMs and Smart Bro Pocket WiFi units to help the university’s scholars continue their studies online in the new normal. Smart has also activated Smart Infocast, a web-based text broadcast solution, to help the university disseminate information to members of its community via text.
“The connectivity services that we provide put us in a unique position to help society in a big way. We know that internet service is actually like the air we breathe already, especially during these times where physical connection is extremely challenged,” Smart SVP Jane J. Basas said.
Basas, who is also Head of Smart Consumer Wireless Business, added that Smart has also provided CMU’s students and teachers with reliable mobile services as they study and teach from home.
“When our students and teachers go back to CMU, we want to make sure that they have the most reliable and affordable connectivity service in school through Smart WiFi. Through this, we continue to enable our students, the future of our country, with free and affordable connectivity, so that they can continue to learn and stay connected to their passions,” she added.
CMU President Dr Jesus Antonio Derije highlighted the importance of connectivity for the university and its students. CMU, known as the premier college for agriculture in the region, is a Center of Excellence for Agriculture education and a National University Center for Agriculture, and serves mostly students from farming families in Bukidnon and surrounding provinces.
“PLDT and Smart have invested so much to improve the signal in our campus. We are optimistic that this partnership will provide our students better access to the Internet and enable the university to continue delivering quality education to our students,” he said, adding that the partnership will also contribute to the university’s efforts to continuously level up as one of the Philippines’ top universities.
This partnership is part of Smart’s “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign, which highlights Smart’s long-running community partnership programs and enables “personal revolutions” that generate lasting positive impact to society through connectivity and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
“Our mission at PLDT and Smart is to connect every Filipino anytime and anywhere they might be,” said Alex O. Caeg, SVP and Head of Consumer Sales Group at PLDT and Smart. “We have been enabling the academe to always be connected to online learning, providing teachers with digital tools, and reaching out to even more students to keep them connected to their classes so that no learner is left behind,” he added.
Caeg said the partnership supports the eventual return of face-to-face schooling. “Together, we will continue to help mold the future leaders, entrepreneurs, and educators from CMU. We will ensure that the university will be an enabler and a change agent of innovation for a much better world,” said Caeg.
“CMU has always been a key university partner for Smart. Our mission and commitment is to serve the university amid this crisis. As we are in the era of digitalization, we hope to help the university face all the challenges that the education sector is up against,” FVP and Smart Regional Customer Development for VisMin Head Hoyle Disuanco said.
Enabling this partnership is parent company PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country at more than 429,000 kilometers.
The deployment of Smart WiFi is part of PLDT and Smart’s nationwide rollout and expansion of their integrated fixed wireless networks. To date, Smart’s wireless network, the fastest mobile network in the country according to third-party analytics firm Ookla, covers 96% of the Philippine population from Batanes to Sulu.