Smart partners with Samsung to drive 5G-SA growth in the Philippines

Smart Communications partnered with leading 5G smartphone vendor Samsung to lead the development of 5G Standalone (5G-SA) technology in the Philippines.  

According to a press release, the mobile services provider said that this development follows Smart’s recent firing up of their commercial 5G-SA sites in Makati. 

“5G SA creates new opportunities for enterprises and consumers, enabling industrial automation, autonomous mobile robotics deployment, safe remote crane operations, fast response in gaming and interactive video streaming, among others,” said Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart.  

Smart recently launched commercial 5G-SA sites in Makati after Samsung tested 5G-SA for calls using Voice over New Radio (VoNR) at the PLDT-Smart Technolab.  

“For the 5G future of the Philippines to be fully realized, we need to accelerate the rate of deployment for more use cases and new applications to thrive. With 5G networks expanding globally, people are now experiencing the impact 5G can have on the mobile experience. At Samsung, we continue to expand our 5G-enabled devices so more Filipinos can experience the power of next-generation 5G connectivity and enable them to share more, play more, and do more, faster,” said James Jung, president of Samsung Philippines.  

It is worth mentioning that the Philippines had an average 5G download speed of 140.6 megabits per second (Mbps) during the data collection period from Aug. 1 to Oct. 29 of last year, according to Business World.   

“The Philippines also topped the uplift chart for mobile video streaming “with a 5G video experience score that is 34% higher than using 4G,” it said.  

According to the release, 5G SA technology opens the door for a range of new industrial applications that use 5G’s full features, allowing super-fast response times and faster access to higher data rates required by cloud gaming.  

In addition, this collaboration further strengthens Smart’s leadership in the 5G space, while it has deployed around 6,400 5G base stations nationwide – the most comprehensive 5G network in the country.  

Also, Samsung was able to test 5G-SA and make a successful call using a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G via Voice over New Radio (VoNR) at the PLDT-Smart Technolab in Smart Tower in Makati City, it said.  

VoNR also improves users’ voice and video call experience, enabling better call quality using the 5G-SA network. Smart made its first successful VoNR call as early as July this year with another vendor at Technolab.