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First Commercial 5G Standalone Network in Makati City, the Philippines

The Philippines’ telecommunications and digital services provider has announced that it has recently activated its commercial first standalone network service sites in Makati City, thereby powering one of the world’s first 5G standalone networks.

According to the company, 5G SA technology will pave the way for a slew of new industrial applications that take full advantage of 5G’s capabilities. The 5G SA is said to provide faster response times and access to higher data rates required by cloud gaming or immersive media. Customers will also be able to project anything onto any surface or use Augmented Reality (AR) glasses to superimpose images, videos, and information right in front of their eyes.

It is mentioned that the 5G standalone service, as an innovation platform, will open new doors for enterprises and consumers by maximising its ultra-reliable and low latency capabilities. This enables, among other things, industrial automation, autonomous mobile robotics deployment, safe remote crane operations, quick response in gaming, and interactive video streaming.

The telecom provider upgraded its 5G facilities by launching its first 5G SA sites at the telecommunications headquarters in Makati, allowing them to connect to the 5G core network. With 5G SA in place, the company claims it will be able to offer Voice over New Radio (VoNR) and network slicing capabilities, as well as support new industrial and enterprise opportunities, soon. The company had conducted its first VoNR call this year at the Technolab in Makati City.

OpenGov Asia reported that 5G technology, which is more than ten times faster than 4G, provides faster connectivity speeds, ultra-low latency, more bandwidth, and superior network reliability. This year, the network provider will invest P70 billion to fuel its expansion efforts. According to a network provider in the Philippines, accelerated network rollouts utilising 4G and 5G technologies are starting to pay off. The average fixed broadband download speed has nearly tripled to 66.55 Mbps in June 2021, up from 25.34 Mbps in August 2020. During the same time, average mobile download speeds more than doubled to 32.84 Mbps from 16.44 Mbps.

According to a report, the Philippines’ 5G download speed is now at 141 Mbps, which is among the fastest in the region. The Philippines is among the top Asia-Pacific countries, ranking 6th in download speed and peak download speed. It also placed 8th in 5G upload speed. Recently, the network provider was named the Philippines’ most consistent mobile network for the first quarter of 2021 and leads in 10 of 17 regions in the country in terms of mobile median download speed. The company’s 3.2 Mbps speed in the entertainment ISP Speed Index is comparable to the 3.4 Mbps in the United States.

In addition, during an event hosted by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the DICT secretary said that the government recognises the need to continuously update and enhance the country’s policies, plans, programmes, and initiatives to effectively harness the potential of ICT innovations in the country’s development. The DICT, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) also met to discuss the government’s efforts to improve Internet connectivity and access across the country.

The DICT Undersecretary also presented the Department’s digital connectivity initiatives for the next five years, emphasising the development of the Internet Transmission Network, which will expand Internet coverage in the country such as through land, air, and space transmission.

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