Online Livestream of Catholic Masses in Provinces, Made Possible by Smart LTE and PLDT Home Prepaid WiFi

Attending masses is an essential part of the lives of Filipino Catholics -- and it's especially true during Holy Week when masses help us reflect upon our lives and how we can apply the teachings of Jesus Christ to improve our relationship with one another and with God.

However, with the enhanced community quarantine that's being implemented across the country to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, it's definitely a challenge for us to come together physically and practice our faith.

Good thing various parishes around the country are now using technology to livestream masses and give hope to Filipinos in this time of uncertainty in the safety of their own homes.

For instance, Msgr. Julius Perpetuo S. Heruela, parish priest of the St. Augustine of Hippo Parish in Bacong, Negros Oriental, livestreams his masses using a web-cam linked to his laptop which is connected wirelessly to a PLDT Home Prepaid WiFi

Online Virtual Catholic Mass
Parishioner participating in Fr. Julius' virtual mass by watching it on Facebook

He shares the video to his parishioners via his Facebook Page like a Watch Party.  The whole set up runs on the 4G LTE service of Smart Communications.  Heruela adds that 9 other parishes in the Diocese of Dumaguete are holding online Masses in the same way.

According to Msgr. Heruela, "Before, Masses were just televised on national TV. Today, we can do it ourselves every day-- within the parish and with our own parishioners – with the help of technology and fast connectivity."

On the other hand, Mr. Alfredo S. Panlilio - Smart President and CEO and Chief Revenue Officer of PLDT - shared, "We’re very happy that we are able to help people observe Holy Week rites online amid quarantine conditions."

Mr. Panlilio added, "The case of Msgr. Heruela is particularly gratifying because he is doing it in Bacong, a 4th class municipality, about 650 kilometers south of Metro Manila. This shows that we have really made progress in expanding the reach of our high-speed LTE service to more and more areas of the country."

In 2019, Smart Communications expanded its coverage and capacity further by increasing the number of its 4G/LTE stations by 51% to about 24,600, as well as its 3G base stations by about 19% to 13,800 across the Philippines.

As of end-December 2019, Smart’s mobile data service coverage reached 94% of the country’s population. This was supported by the expansion of PLDT’s fiber optic footprint by 32% to 322,400 kilometers, which is the Philippines' most extensive digital backbone and transport network.

"Of course, we had no idea that something like COVID-19 was coming.  But, in a sense, our network expansion efforts were, shall we say, providential.  At least, during this rather difficult period, we can help people come together in prayer to seek God’s blessings and help," Mr. Panlilio noted.

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