PLDT to provide Wi-Fi to over 2,300 buses by end-2017
MANILA, Philippines – More than 2,300 public transport buses in the country are getting some technological upgrades: Wi-Fi connectivity, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, and vehicle trackers.
PLDT Incorporated said in a statement on Sunday, October 1, that its corporate business unit PLDT Enterprise has partnered with the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP) to provide these upgrades to the group's members.
This will be implemented through the telco giant's SmartBus suite of services from the Smart Biz long-term evolution (LTE) bundle.
"Giving the commuting public easy and fast access to the internet through our Smart Biz LTE can help take their mind away from this daily grind, and enable them to be more productive by doing more tasks while in transit," PLDT senior vice president and head of enterprise Jovy Hernandez said in a statement.
PLDT's new program will help bus operators comply with the government's plans to modernize the country's transport system, which includes requiring buses to install a global positioning system (GPS) monitoring device for commuter safety.
Mitch Locsin, head of PLDT SME Business, said the package comes with an industrial-grade robust modem router able to resist heat and vibration, which auto reboots to refresh its connection.
"It can accommodate up to 25 users simultaneously and has a bandwidth shaper feature which allows more users to connect, delivering LTE speeds," Locsin added.
Locsin said by the end of 2017, over 2,300 buses nationwide will be fitted with the SmartBus program.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) had said that by 2020, all buses, jeepneys, and public utility vans across the country will be modernized, organized, and placed under an automated fare collection system. (READ: Buses, jeepneys in the Philippines to be modernized by 2020)
The DOTr also said it will likely require all public utility vehicles (PUVs) to install CTTV cameras, a GPS navigation system, speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade last month signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a P1.5-billion loan facility for PUV cooperatives with Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) Chairman Alberto Romulo to jumpstart the PUV modernization program.
The DBP will provide loans to qualified cooperatives to finance the acquisition of new PUVs.
Last April 30, the DOTr also signed an MOU with the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) to set up a P1-billion financing mechanism for individual jeepney operators via the Special Environment-Friendly and Efficiently Driven (SPEED) Jeepney Program. – Rappler.com
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