PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), the first to launch 5G in the Philippines, has fired up more than 3,000 5G sites across the country as of May, solidifying its hold as the Philippines’ fastest and widest 5G network.
This includes 5G sites deployed in far-flung and mountainous areas, such as Brgy. Linut-od in Argao, Cebu, where it enables telemedicine services for dialysis patients like Elena Camson.
“I used to have to go to the town for check-ups when there was still no signal here,” said Camson. Linut-od is located 23 kilometers away from the town proper. Camson, who was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease three years ago, added that she used to walk to a neighboring barangay just to catch a ride to the clinic.
“A strong network is a huge help for us especially for telemedicine,” said Dr Stanley Caminero, Argao’s community doctor, whom Camson consults with regularly. “Instead of traveling to town, patients can consult virtually via Smart 5G.”
Caminero added that 5G enables the transmission of high-quality video, allowing doctors like him to immediately understand what their patients are trying to say. “We can assure quality service and accurate diagnosis for our patients,” he said.
“As we expand our network across the country, we are enabling more Filipinos like Elena to benefit from services such as telemedicine, which can be enhanced by 5G,” said Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart. “Our accelerated 5G rollout is part of our continuous efforts to upgrade and expand our network, ensuring that we deliver the best data experience to our customers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” he added.
Big 5G push
Continuing this big push for 5G in the country, Smart recently expanded its Unli 5G offer to cover all Smart 5G sites nationwide–an unprecedented move that enables more Filipinos to enjoy Smart’s most powerful offer on its fastest technology yet.
From its initial selected sites covering Metro Manila, Angeles City, Baguio City, Cavite City, Cebu City, Clark City, and Davao City, Smart’s Unli 5G offer is now available to customers at over 3,000 Smart 5G locations around the country, including Batangas, Bacolod, Boracay, Cagayan de Oro, Laguna, Pampanga, Pangasinan, and Quezon.
The Unli 5G offer is available exclusively via the GigaLife App. To make the most of Unli 5G, Smart subscribers should have a Smart 5G-certified device and be in a Smart 5G-covered location. The Gigalife app has a feature which shows the location of 5G coverage in the country. Currently, all Smart LTE SIMs are already 5G-ready.
With Unli 5G, subscribers can enjoy a superior and reliable 5G experience with no data-capping or speed-throttling. Unli 5G also comes with data for non-5G use so customers can stay connected even when they move from a 5G-covered location to a non-5G-covered site, or switch between Smart 5G and 4G/LTE networks.
PH’s fastest 5G network
These developments come at the heels of Smart’s recent award for having the fastest 5G network in the Philippines by Ookla®, the global leader in internet testing and analysis.
Based on consumer-initiated tests taken using Speedtest® by Ookla, Smart has consistently posted the fastest 5G speeds for Q1 2021, with median download speeds of 190 Mbps – more than double the competition’s speeds for the same period.
Smart 5G complements Smart’s continuous expansion of its 4G/LTE network, which has also been recognized as the fastest mobile network in the country by third-party analytics firms including Ookla and Opensignal. Currently, Smart’s mobile networks serve 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.
Enabling Smart’s mobile networks is PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the country’s most extensive at over 478,000 kilometers as of end-March 2021.