MANILA, PHILIPPINES | The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), together with mobile service providers Smart Communications, Inc. and Globe Telecom, formally launched on Independence Day, June 12, free Wi-Fi and high-speed Internet services at MRT-3 stations along EDSA.
Dubbed as “Alay Para sa Malayang Pilipino”, which is in line with the government’s promise to provide free Wi-Fi services in selected public areas nationwide, the Free Wi-Fi project is open to all subscribers of all networks for an initial free 30 minutes everyday without data cap.
The ceremonial launch was held at the MRT-3 Station in Shaw Boulevard with no less than DICT Sec. Secretary Atty. Rodolfo A. Salalima, DICT Usec. Eliseo M. Rio and NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, gracing the event along with telco executives from Smart and Globe.
The Free WiFi initiative is initially available at MRT-3 stations from Cubao in Quezon City to Guadalupe in Makati for Phase 1. Telco executives said that Phase 2, which will include all 13 MRT stations, will commence by end of August this year.
To make the EDSA project happen, the DICT said that the agency employed strategies, which include “providing access points in all MRT stations and in between stations and enhancing infrastructures for cellular services along EDSA”.
The project, the DICT added, aims to “provide high-speed internet connectivity” throughout the 24-kilometer stretch of EDSA targeting commuters waiting for the train on the platform and passengers at the street level shuttling Metro Manila’s busiest highway.
How to connect
To use the free WIFI at the MRT-3, commuters should check for Smart and Globe WiFi signs and turn on WiFi connection on their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Then, select #SmartWifi@MRT EDSA for Smart or @GoWIFI from Globe from the list of available WiFi networks to connect and simply start browsing.
The Smart Wifi service lets users extend their free 30 minute session per day by purchasing Smart WiFi load from partner retailers in denominations of P20 pesos for 2 hours, valid for 2 days; and P50 for 10 hours, valid for 5 days.
Subscribers of the telco may also convert their Smart, Sun, and TNT load to Smart WiFi minutes by texting the preferred denomination – WIFI10, WIFI20 or WIFI50 – to 9991.
As for Globe, which was the first to deploy free WiFi in Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) stations a year ago, once the free minutes are up, Globe/TM customers and other networks can avail of a GoWiFi promo to continue their browsing by connecting to @GoWiFi_Auto.
For P15, customers can enjoy 500MB worth of data allocation for one day, while P50 lets customers enjoy 1.5GB worth of data allocation for three days. Long-term customers can pay P99 for 1.5GB data allocation for 30 days.
Customers can avail of this service and pay via prepaid load, charged to postpaid bill, credit card, or via Request-a-Fi — a feature that allows users to request for a GoWiFi package from their Globe or TM friends.