Smart completes 5G video call in the Philippines

5 Aug 2019

PLDT Inc. mobile arm Smart Communications has successfully completed the ‘first video call in Southeast Asia’ using a standalone 5G network with equipment partner Nokia. The Philippine Daily Inquirer notes that the call was made using Nokia’s 5G standalone (SA) core, radio and user equipment installed at the PLDT-Smart 5G Technolab. In a statement, the pair noted that using a standalone 5G network allows ‘the full benefit of 5G capabilities to be tested and demonstrated’.

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last month PLDT-Smart postponed the commercial launch of 5G services to early 2020, as the country’s largest operator by subscribers continues its quest to select suitable equipment vendors for the project. In a news briefing, chairman and president Manuel Pangilinan was quoted as saying ‘I don’t think it will happen this year, but certainly sometime next year, early next year,’ despite having previously announced that it was targeting Q4 2019 for fifth-generation services to be available for home broadband and enterprise customers.

Ahead of the launch, however, PLDT-Smart has powered up 5G sites across Luzon, specifically at Clark Freeport Zone, Makati central business district, Ateneo de Manila University campus and Araneta Center in Cubao.