MRT riders to get free 30 minutes a day internet surfing soon - Partnership between Globe Telecom and DOTC

Long queues at the congested Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) may soon become more bearable with commuters having access to 30 minutes of free internet per day.

Under a recently forged partnership between Globe Telecom and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Zobel family-led telco has installed infrastructure at MRT stations to increase its coverage in Metro Manila.

In a statement on Thursday, Globe said its internet service would be accessible at MRT stations and onboard trains free of charge for 30 minutes a day. Beyond that, however, customers will have to pay if they want to continue accessing the service.

Communities surrounding the 13 MRT stations of the 17-kilometer railway line from North Avenue to Taft Avenue also stand to benefit from the arrangement, Globe said.

Details on how the internet service can be accessed will soon be made available.

The MRT-3 is the busiest railway line in the country, serving over half a million passengers per day. Telcos are also eyeing similar services for the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2.

“With the support of government agencies such as the operators of the MRT Line 3, we hope to change the experience of our customers in high foot traffic areas and strategic locations such as public transport systems,” Joel Agustin, Globe senior vice president for program governance, network technical group, said in the statement.

Globe signed a memorandum of understanding with Metro Railway Transit, an attached agency of the DOTC, allowing it to deploy wireless internet infrastructure in all MRT stations

The broader goal was to help address challenges affecting mobile signals on Edsa especially during rush hour.

“The additional capacity brought by the macro sites and small cells deployment will help decongest peripheral areas around the train stations, providing improved mobile experience to customers,” Globe said.

This year, the telco set aside $750 million for capital spending, the bulk of which will be used to boost data capacity and expand network reach.

Globe also launched early this year an initiative of creating an internet superhighway by deploying fiber optic cables to 20,000 barangays nationwide to provide faster and more reliable internet access in about two million homes.

The infrastructure build is expected to take five years and will extend network coverage to more areas that currently have no connection or suffer from spotty service.

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