PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has successfully deployed a core network solution to deliver the best mobile data experience for customers availing themselves of Smart’s Unli 5G offer–the first Philippine telco to be able to do so.
Deploying this solution enables Smart’s network to differentiate between 5G and 4G/LTE data traffic, ensuring customers of worry-free unlimited data usage on Smart’s 5G network when subscribed to the appropriate offers, as well as a seamless experience when switching between Smart’s 5G and 4G/LTE networks.
“Our aim is always to provide the best customer experience by making the latest available technology accessible to our customers. As we roll out more 5G sites across the country, we ensure that our network is capable of supporting offers such as Unli 5G,” said Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart.
John Emill Buencamino, VP for Core Planning and Engineering for Smart, emphasized how this milestone reinforces Smart’s position as a pioneer in technology. “This innovation was made possible with Smart’s investments in deploying next-gen virtualized core network technology, solidifying Smart’s technology leadership,” Buencamino said.
Smart’s Unli 5G offer provides customers with non-stop data access and is now available in all Smart 5G-covered areas nationwide, with no data-capping or speed-throttling for a superior and reliable 5G experience. Unli 5G also comes with additional data for non-5G use so subscribers can stay connected even when they move from a 5G-covered area to a non-5G-covered site.
To enjoy Unli 5G, subscribers should have a Smart 5G-certified device and be in a Smart 5G-covered location. Currently, all Smart LTE SIMs are already 5G-ready. Smart subscribers can avail of Unli 5G exclusively via GigaLife App.
PH’s most extensive 5G network, fastest LTE network
The country’s most extensive 5G network, Smart has already deployed over 2,700 5G sites nationwide, firing up in strategic urban centers, including Metro Manila, Angeles City, Baguio City, Cavite City, Cebu City, Clark City, and Davao City. It also recently announced that its 5G outdoor coverage in the National Capital Region is now at more than 90%.
Smart has also been recognized as 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*. Ookla has also cited Smart 5G for being 7x faster than Smart LTE.
Smart 5G complements Smart’s continuous expansion of its 4G/LTE network, which has been recognized by Ookla as the fastest mobile network in the country for three years in a row starting in 2018.
Smart’s mobile network, which covers 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, is enabled by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the country’s most extensive at over 478,000 kilometers as of end-March 2021.
These initiatives form a large part of PLDT’s capital expenditures, which totaled P460.7 billion in the last ten years. To address the growing data needs of their fixed and wireless customers, PLDT and Smart are prepared to invest between P88 billion and P92 billion in capital expenditures in 2021.
*Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data 5G median download speeds in The Philippines for Q1 2021. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is a wholly-owned wireless communications and digital services subsidiary of PLDT, Inc., the Philippines’ largest and only integrated telecommunications company. Smart serves approximately 96% of the country’s cities and municipalities with its combined 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G network*, providing mobile communications services, high-speed internet connectivity, and access to digital services and content to over 71.8 million Filipinos*, supporting the country’s growing digital economy, and providing the best customer experience for an increasingly digital Filipino lifestyle.
*as of end-March 2021