Smart Communications Inc. has fired up its commercial 5G standalone (SA) sites in Makati, one of the first in the world.

The 5G SA technology enables new industry applications using 5G’s full features, such as industrial automation, autonomous mobile robotics deployment, safe remote crane operations, fast response in gaming and interactive video streaming.

It provides super-fast response times and access to higher data rates required by cloud gaming or immersive media, creating new business opportunities and consumer services beyond mobile phone screens.

Customers can project everything on any surface or use Augmented Reality (AR) glasses to superimpose images, videos, and information right in front of them. Adding holographic projectors, users can bring people, objects and pets right next to them.

With 5G SA in place, Smart can soon offer Voice over New Radio (VoNR) and network slicing capabilities, as well as support new industrial and enterprise opportunities.

Smart made its first successful VoNR call in July this year at the Technolab in Smart Tower in Makati City.

“With the first batch of our 5G SA sites now fully operational, 5G can play a critical role advancing Internet of Things (IoT), health care and smart cities, delivering world-class customer experience,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications president and CEO.

“We are creating opportunities for Filipino enterprises to compete in the global arena,” according to Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart.

“Technology plays an important role in today’s society, as seen during the pandemic,” he said, adding that “5G and LTE provided us with the means to stay connected with our loved ones, work, and study from our homes, and find means to keep ourselves entertained as we continue to keep our families safe.”

Smart first began exploring 5G in 2016, powering the country’s first 5G base stations in 2018. The telco made the first 5G SA-powered video call in Southeast Asia in August 2019.

With technology partner Ericsson, Smart developed 5G use cases at the PLDT-Smart Technolab, which currently hosts one of the 5G SA sites.

To date, Smart operates over 4,000 5G sites nationwide.

Source: Manila Bulletin (