Telcos: Cellphone signal in Ruby-hit areas back Monday
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Telecommunication firms aim to resume their cellular services in areas hit by Tropical storm Ruby (international name: Hagupit) on Monday, December 8, two days after mobile phone signals went down in Samar and Biliran provinces.
“Expect some cell sites to be fired up within 24 hours,” said Yoly Crisanto, spokesperson of the Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc.
Globe’s restoration involves fixing their Gigoso base station in Giporlos, Eastern Samar, which provides mobile coverage for 23 municipalities in the province.
Globe, along with the Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Company (PLDT) said there was no serious damage to their infrastructure, and subscribers should be getting mobile coverage by Tuesday, December 9, at the latest.
“If not today, then early tomorrow,” PLDT spokesperson Ramon Isberto told Rappler.
PLDT, the parent company of Smart, Talk ‘N Text, and Sun Cellular, is completing restoration of its chain of facilities in Eastern Samar, including its base stations in the provincial capital Borongan.
To date, its cell sites in Southern Samar, Marabut, Lawaan, Balangiga, Giporlos, Quinapondan, Gen. Macarthur, and Hernani, “are working and operating normally.”
As of evening of December 7, PLDT said it already repaired mobile network service in the Northern Samar towns of Allen-Londres, San Isidro, Rosario, Bobon, Catarman, Yakal, Mondragon, San Roque, Laoan, and Pambujan.
Mobile network services went down in several areas in Eastern Samar on Saturday, December 6.
Rappler staff and volunteers reported that even nearby provinces like Northern Samar lost their Globe and Smart mobile signals.
Globe explained Sunday that its service interruption was caused by its forced shutdown of its base station facility in Gisogo, Giporlos East Samar, which affected mobile coverage in 34 sites in several municipalities in the province.
PLDT continued to operate even if the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) approved preemptive measures implemented by Globe to minimize damage to infrastructure.
While the telecommunication firms announced that restoration is underway, some mobile subscribers might not be able to use the services yet.
Some cell sites, explained Crisanto, “[are] inaccessible due to landslides, floods, and debris caused by the typhoon.”
Free calls, charging stations
Globe is also offering free international call services to Filipinos in 8 countries worldwide wanting to get in touch with relatives in Ruby-hit areas.
Gil Genio, Globe chief operating officer for business and international markets, said the “Libreng Tawag” promo runs until 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday (12:59 pm, Tuesday, December 9 in Manila), in the following countries:
- Spain – accredited Globe retailers
- United Kingdom – accredited Globe retailers
- Saudi Arabia – accredited Globe retailers
- Canada – accredited Globe retailers
- Singapore – accredited Globe retailers
- Hong Kong – accredited Globe retailers
- United States – Seafood City branches in the west coast, Lunex in the east coast
- Italy – Globe stores in Milan and Rome
“We realize how important it is for our kababayans (fellowmen) abroad to get in touch with their families especially during calamities,” said Genio in a statement.
Globe also started offering Libreng Tawag and Charging (free calls and charging) services at Peerles Subd. entrance, Brgy. 93 Bagacay in Tacloban, Leyte from 4 pm to 7 pm of December 8.
Libreng Charging facilities are also available in the following sites, which will be offered from 8 am to 6 pm on December 9 and 10:
- Jiovanni Store, Brgy. 85, Nueva St., San Jose, Tacloban City
- (V&G) Cybon Store, Brgy. 96 Calanipawan Road, Tacloban City
- Benloi Grocery, Brgy. 94 Lower Nula-tula, Tacloban City
- Palo Public Market, Brgy. Cavite East, Palo