5G network to usher in new digital services, says Smart

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The commercial launch of 5G in the country is expected to usher in a new generation of digital services to both individual consumers and enterprise customers on top of super-fast internet for mobile phone users, according to PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications.

“5G is a major milestone in the development of mobile phone services and digital technologies. It is a platform that enables new technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, cloud computing and other digital services that when combined will not only enhance existing services, but also make possible a new generation of wireless services,” PLDT-Smart public affairs head and first vice president Ramon Isberto said.

Smart said 5G’s fiber-like speeds would initially improve entertainment services such as video viewing, as well as e-sports and e-games.

“Through your 5G-capable handsets, you can enjoy streaming of high-movement videos such as coverage of sports events.  You can now also enjoy e-sports and cloud-gaming and play your favorite PC games on mobile devices because of 5G,” Smart vice president for corporate marketing and strategy Lloyd Manaloto said.

Smart officials said customers, however, would need to shift to 5G handsets to enjoy the new mobile service.

“To fully enjoy the benefits of 5G, people will need 5G-capable devices. The good news is, we are seeing more and more affordable devices in the coming months so that more people can benefit from 5G,” Isberto said.

“With technology becoming more pervasive, it will just be a matter of time for handsets to become cheaper. 5G will also expand beyond mobile and enable devices and wearables,” Manaloto said.

Smart in late July started the commercial deployment of its 5G mobile phone network.

Under its initial phase of 5G commercial deployment, Smart Signature, Infinity and other Smart postpaid subscribers are able to enjoy the super-fast data service of Smart 5G in key business districts of Metro Manila using Smart-certified handsets with 5G-activated SIMs.

These areas include the Makati Central Business District (CBD), Bonifacio Global City CBD, Araneta City, SM Megamall and Mall of Asia Bay Area. Smart 5G is also being rolled out in key high-traffic areas such North Avenue in Quezon City and Taft Avenue in Manila, as well as in Ortigas CBD, and Clark Green City in Pampanga.

PLDT will roll out more 5G to targeted areas in Metro Manila this year and will  extend the service to other urban centers next year.

Moving forward, 5G is expected to make possible new services such as wireless sensors for the automation of factories, seaports and airports, for traffic management and e-health services, according to Smart.

PLDT’s 5G deployment plan involved a steady investment effort that has amounted to nearly P260 billion in overall capital expenditures over the past five years.

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