Technology marches on. It is why computer storage went from floppy disks and diskettes, to internal hard disks, writable discs, USB drives and so on. It is why TVs went from bulky to flat and slim. The onward progress of technological advancement explains why mobile phones went from having physical keyboards to touchscreens, and the networks powering them have evolved. Once, years ago, 3G was hot stuff. Then it was surpassed by 4G until 5G became the bar to measure against. Philippine telecom services have been racing to get their 5G networks ready after its introduction, and one of them has crossed that finish line.

The Philippine Star has it that 5G service is now available with major Philippine telecommunications giant PLDT through its wireless mobile division, Smart Communications. As long been hyped since last year, 5G (5th Generation) wireless connectivity boasts more stable connection to the internet, with higher speeds and bandwidth compared to 4G, which is something sorely desired by Filipinos who are aware of the country’s abysmal internet speed stats. Now, Smart is rolling out their commercial 5G data services as of Thursday, July 30. Initial coverage will start in areas of Metro Manila, available primarily to Smart subscribers with 5G-activated SIMs.

Alfred Panlilio, Smart president-CEO as well as PLDT chief revenue officer, issued a statement celebrating the launch of their commercial 5G capabilities, saying, “After many years of preparation and sustained investments, we’re very happy to say that Smart subscribers can now try out and enjoy the super-fast data service that Smart 5G can deliver.” He adds that this new addition would help improve the Philippines’ ranking in internet speeds thanks to having adopted the current bleeding edge in mobile technology a year after its introduction.

For the first step in the implementation of Smart 5G, postpaid subscribers of Smart, Signature and Infinity can get their super-fast data speeds if located in Makati Central Business District, Bonifacio Global City CBD, Araneta City, SM Megamall and Mall of Asia Bay Area. Outside of these business and commercial hubs, 5G can also be had in Quezon City’s North Avenue, Manila’s Taft Avenue, Ortigas CBD and – outside of the NCR – Clark Green City, Pampanga. Smart Stores will soon offer, for Signature plan subscribers, a selection of Smart 5G-certified smartphones that are compatible with their newly-launched service, coming from well-known brands such as Samsung, Vivo, Huawei, RealMe and many others.

The fact that Smart is able to implement this rollout for 5G – estimated to cost them around P70 billion to completely set up – is impressive considering that, again, they are working in the background of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.

Image courtesy of PLDT.com