Smart working with Google to expand free Wi-Fi across the Philippines

9 Jan 2019

PLDT Inc.’s mobile division Smart Communications is teaming up with global internet giant Google to deploy additional Wi-Fi hubs across the country as part of a drive to provide free connections nationwide. In a statement, Smart confirmed: ‘Powered by Smart Wi-Fi’s nationwide infrastructure, more citizens will now be enabled to enjoy a digital lifestyle with the growing number of Smart Wi-Fi hubs throughout the country’. The ‘Smart Wi-Fi’ service is initially supplied for free for an agreed time period, after which customers can extend their access for a price.

The moves builds on a decision by the pair in October 2018 in which they agreed to work together to improve broadband access and provide Wi-Fi wireless connectivity across the country. At the time, the pair signed a deal allowing the Filipino telco to launch Google Wifi which they claimed would deliver the ‘fastest fixed broadband network’ and a ‘seamless home internet experience’. The telco’s ‘unlimited’ Google Wifi Plans cost PHP3,799 (USD70.7) a month and boast peak download speeds of up to 50Mbps.

PLDT is taking advantage of the mesh networking system which allows Wi-Fi signals to penetrate strategic parts of the end user’s home. ‘This way, you can enjoy consistently strong and fast internet on all of your Wi-Fi enabled devices and smart appliances at every corner of every room,’ PLDT confirmed in the statement. Introduced in 2016, Google Wifi has since been released in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.