Smart, Globe release Typhoon 'Yolanda' network advisory | November 9, 2013

Manila, Philippines - Top mobile operators, Smart and Globe on Saturday, November 9, 2013 released statement for the network status in affected areas of Super Typhoon 'Yolanda'.

Smart, Globe network advisory Typhoon Yolanda

In the NDRRMC report yesterday at 3pm, NTC Dir. Edgardo Cabarios said Smart, Sun Cellular and Globe services in Tacloban City are not available. Telco service in Samar and Leyte areas are degraded with 67 cell sites affected. Repair crew of Smart, Globe already are in the affected areas waiting for the bad weather to clear.

Related: Typhoon 'Yolanda' aftermath: At least 100 dead - reports

Smart: 15% of our cellular coverage in the three regions of Central Philippines was affected

Mobile phone leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has commenced restoration work of facilities affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda and expects to fire up most of these equipment over the next two to three (2-3) days.

“About 15% of our cellular coverage in the three regions of Central Philippines was affected by the super typhoon, most of these in Eastern Samar and Leyte which bore the brunt of the storm's fury,” said Rolando G. Pena, head of technology services for PLDT and Smart.

Less than one percent of the Smart network in Mindanao was affected, mostly in Surigao del Norte while less than 10% of our network in South Luzon was affected, mostly in Masbate, Romblon.

"That is why we were able to continue providing services in areas such as Southern Leyte, Kalibo and Boracay in Aklan province," Pena said.

“The teams that we prepositioned in the affected provinces started restoration work immediately after the storm passed. They put Ormoc City back on air last night and we are moving on to the surrounding municipalities from there,” he added.

“In a number of areas, service is not available because of the lack of commercial electricity. To address this, we are dispatching generation sets to augment local power. We are also making available to local residents power in our cell sites to enable them to re-charge their mobile phones,” he added.

Pena added that full normalization of service will depend on the restoration of commercial power which was also affected by Yolanda.

Meanwhile, as of this morning, Smart and Sun Cellular have set up Libreng Tawag stations at the following sites: Brgy. 7 and San Jose Municipal Office in San Jose, Mindoro; Rizal Elementary School evacuation center in Iloilo City; San Francisco, Camotes Islands, Tubigon Community Hospital in Potohan, Tubigon, Bohol, and East Central Elementary School in Tubigon, Leyte. In Roxas City, the public may also proceed to the local Smart cellsite for free charging of batteries of mobile phones as power is still out. More Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging stations are being set up.

Smart subscribers can also donate to the Philippine Red Cross by texting RED to 4143 (ex. RED 100 to 4143). Donations are accepted in the following amounts: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500, 1000.

Globe: 26% of the Globe Telecom's network in the Visayas region have been adversely affected

As of 5:00am, Saturday, about 26% of the Globe Telecom's network in the Visayas region have been adversely affected by Typhoon Yolanda, said Robert Tan, Globe Chief Technical Adviser. Communication services in Tacloban, Aklan, Biliran, Capiz, Eastern Samar, and Leyte, which were hardest hit by the super typhoon, have yet to be restored.

Tan said that the impact on sites in the Visayas region was due mostly to multiple transmission link failures and prolonged commercial power outages following storm surges and strong winds brought by the super typhoon. "We have activated our Disaster Coordination Center in Lahug and our Regional Operations Center to make restoration efforts in the Visayas region easier to coordinate, monitor, and do site assessments. Communication services in two key areas namely Iloilo and Roxas have been restored after suffering submarine cable cuts yesterday. Restoration of our services especially in the hard hit areas are expected within the next 48 hours. Gensets have been fully utilized in our major regional exchange centers," Tan said.

In other provinces in the Visayas region, the status of the ongoing service recovery is as follows: Antique – 91%, Bohol – 89%, Cebu – 69%, Iloilo-64%, Negro Occidental-77%, Negros Oriental-90%, Northern Samar-8%, and Southern Leyte 31%. Tan added that the company's resiliency and redundancy measures have worked to manage such disruption that can only be caused by a super typhoon.

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