Smart Launches First 5G-Powered Esports Hub in the Philippines

Carmel Miguel
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), the wireless subsidiary arm of PLDT, in partnership with Gariath Concepts, a popular gaming venue in Quezon City, has launched its first-ever 5G-powered esports hub in the Philippines with a peak speeds hitting at 1Gbps!

Smart Launches First 5G-Powered Esports Hub in the Philippines
Smart Launches First 5G-Powered Esports Hub in the Philippines

Smart also gathered esports athletes for the country's first mobile phone versus PC crossplay exhibition match via cloud gaming. PLDT-Smart Omega athletes, which are armed with Smart 5G-certified devices, went head-to-head with Team LuponWxC, which are using gaming PCs, for a DoTA 2 match via cloud gaming. In the end, the team PLDT-Smart Omega wins the exhibition match with a landslide score of 34-6.

“We kicked off this year with the country’s first 5G-powered Mobile Legends match last February. Now, we are upping the ante by powering Gariath Concepts to become the country's first 5G-powered gaming hub. Gaming is at the forefront of technology, and we believe 5G will pave the way for innovative platforms and exciting products that will dramatically enhance the experience of gamers,” said Jane Basas, senior vice president and head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart,

“Our goal is to unlock the many benefits of 5G and make these available to Filipinos. The 5G future is closer than we think as we continue to deploy our 5G network, and make available Smart 5G-certified handsets very soon,” Basas added.

Smart Successfully Completes First Live 5G to 5G Video Call in PH

In line with its efforts to fire up the deployment of 5G in the country, PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. has successfully made the first video call using the 5G connection between the newly-launched Smart 5G cities in Pampanga and Makati City.

Smart Successfully Completes First Live 5G to 5G Video Call in PH
Smart Successfully Completes First Live 5G to 5G Video Call in PH

The 5G-powered video call was led by PLDT-Smart Chief Technology and Information Advisor Joachim Horn from the PLDT HQ located in the central business district of Makati, to Clark Development Corp. President and CEO Noel Manankil at the Clark Smart 5G City in the Clark Freeport Zone.

Related: PLDT Home Launches TVolution Lite Powered by Roku

The call was made using 5G Radio and Core equipment of Huawei and Ericsson, Huawei’s technology partners.

“5G is real and it is now here in Makati and Clark,” PLDT-Smart chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said during ceremonies held at the PLDT headquarters as part of PLDT’s 90th anniversary celebrations.
“We are working very hard with our technology partners Huawei and Ericsson, as well as government and industrial partners like Bases Conversion and Development Authority and CDC in piloting 5G use cases and establishing even more Smart 5G Cities across the country soon,” Pangilinan added.
“We are transforming PLDT and Smart into the country’s leading and most trusted enabler of technology, and we are keen to explore with our partners the vast potential of 5G as a platform for exciting new innovations,” said Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT-Smart chief revenue officer.
Smart is set to pilot 5G solutions in areas such as CBDs, which the company will do by bringing up additional 5G cell sites.
“By bringing 5G to Makati, we are putting the possibilities of 5G closer to the Philippines’ premier commercial hub, which is home to the country’s most ultra-connected enterprises and workforce,” said Juan Victor Hernandez, Senior Vice President and Head of Enterprise for PLDT and Smart.

Recently, Smart has performed speed tests on the 5G network, which recorded up to 700 Mbps. The test was done using Huawei’s 5G equipment in Makati. Prior to this, Smart has been testing 5G connections since 2016, when it garnered speeds of 2.5 Gigabits per second using 100MHz with a latency of just 1 millisecond over a ‘live’ network—the first in the Philippines.

“We know 5G would be much faster than 4G—but speed is not the only reason we’re introducing 5G. The main reason is that it’s a very versatile platform for a completely new set of applications. In 5G, the focus moves from providing the pipe to providing the environment for very different applications, for a very wide range of customers, enterprises, consumers,” Horn said.
According to Arthur Wang, director of Huawei Philippines' PLDT group account: “We are happy to partner with PLDT and Smart in helping bring 5G to PLDT-Smart. Through this partnership, we hope to continue developing more innovations to deliver digital services to PLDT and Smart customers.”

The deployment of 5G is expected to bring many benefits including low latency, which will be essential for many possible applications for the Internet of Things, smart cities, and technological applications for the retail, transport, manufacturing, logistics and warehousing sectors, as well as intelligent solutions for customer support and smart homes, among others.

See Also: PLDT, Smart Roll Out PH's First 5G Cell Sites in Makati and Clark

“To deliver 5G services, Smart is also currently upgrading its network’s Core and Transport elements. This includes upgrading to fiber the backhaul connecting the network’s cell sites nationwide,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering.

Moreover, Smart has also inaugurated last June its 5G Technolab, a flagship facility intended for research and development, standardization, and 5G testing.

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