PLDT helps COVID-19 frontliners with free communications support

With the number of COVID-19 cases steadily rising, PLDT Inc. through its Enterprise Business Group is providing vital communications support to increasingly hard-pressed healthcare workers, soldiers and policemen and other personnel  at the frontlines of  the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Working with the Department of Health (DOH), PLDT is deploying for free cloud, push-to-talk (PTT) smartphones that can provide rapid communications in support of the operations of the government hospitals that have been designated as COVID-19 referral hospitals.

Running on the LTE mobile data network of PLDT’s wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, the PTT units have nationwide coverage and operate with the speed and ease of use of walkie-talkie two-way-radios.

This can fast-track communications not only between the DOH head office and the COVID-19 hospitals, but also within and between the referral hospitals themselves.

PLDT will also provide for free Smart Messaging Suite accounts to healthcare facilities identified by the DOH and local government units.  This messaging platform will enable these facilities to send out bulletins and advisories to its personnel and the public using text messaging.

“These communications tools make it possible for users to send out or receive information more quickly and efficiently.  In the context of the battle against coronavirus, the DOH leadership will be able to better support its health personnel on the ground at the COVID-19 referral hospitals,” said Juan Victor Hernandez, ePLDT President & CEO and SVP & Head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups.

PLDT Enterprise has also tied up with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) to enable the Rapidpass QR Project. Assigned personnel will be provided with with mobile phones and Smart lines that will allow them to conduct QR scanning at the designated checkpoints throughout Luzon.

Likewise, the ICT and digital services provider also joined hands with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to allow free WiFi for healthcare workers and on-ground security personnel being ferried by government-supplied bus transports around Metro Manila. This will be done through the provisioning of Smart Bro Pocket Wi-Fi units and Smart Tracker Units.

The mobile WiFi signal on the buses will enable the health workers to receive timely bulletins and advisories from the DOH as well as keep in touch with their families while on the move.

Moreover, the Smart Tracker Units will enable DOTr to pinpoint the location of buses assigned to ferry health workers and facilitate their pass-thru approval at security checkpoints.  The pocket Wifi units will also be used to provide data connectivity at key checkpoints.

“Effective communications tools and solutions are a powerful weapon in the fight against COVID-19.  PLDT is committed to deploying the most effective technologies to support our courageous frontliners,” Hernandez said.