We earlier reported that Sun Cellular was riding on Smart’s network to expand its coverage in certain areas and we’ve also asked readers to confirm this. It looks like Sun has already verified this by connecting to Smart via domestic roaming.
We’re all familiar with international roaming and have the impression that roaming between networks is very expensive. But in this case, I believe Sun is getting a free ride on Smart’s vast network (considering they both belong under the PLDT Group).
TechLokal confirms this move by Sun (via Sun Cellular VP for CRM Reuben Pangan):
We have expanded our coverage in Mindanao in cooperation with our sister company in the PLDT Group. In fact, it has even extended to areas in Luzon such as Nueva Ecija, Benguet, Kalinga, and Isabela as well as Marinduque.
This means Sun subscribers in those areas will experience better cell signal, including 2G and 3G connections.
Sun has over 6,000 cell sites nationwide and Smart has an additional 13,000 cell sites boosting coverage in a lot of areas.
Update: An engineer close to the implementation of this project tells me this is just the testing phase and they will be done by July or August this year. Apparently, the domestic roaming is just an interim solution but once the test phase is done, both networks will be merged.