Smart Communications Hosts First 5G Powered Esports Exhibition Match in the Philippines

When we talk about the potential uses for 5G ultra-fast mobile internet speeds, topics like internet of things, AI-powered automation in factory assembly lines, and driver-less cars always come to mind.

Aside from those applications, however, 5G can also be utilized in everyday fun activities on our smartphones -- especially mobile gaming! In fact, Smart Communications, the wireless services arm of PLDT, is currently leveraging on esports market insights to drive the use of 5G in our country.

On February 6, 2020, talented athletes from the Philippines' first and only franchise-based Esports league called The Nationals joined the country’s first ever 5G-Powered Esports exhibition match held at the PLDT Headquarters in Makati City.

Smart 5G Gaming

Using the the latest 5G handsets including Huawei Mate 5G, the OPPO Reno 5G and the ZTE Axion 5G, Team PLDT-Smart Omega and Team Cignal Ultra Warriors battled it out on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang using Smart’s 5G network with Team Omega getting 'Victory!' at the end of the 10-minute battle.

This exhibition match comes hot on the heels of the Philippines' successful Esports debut at the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), during which the country bagged several gold medals in various Esports events, including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, StarCraft 2, and Dota 2.

PLDT-Smart as a Staunch Esports Advocate

According to PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart President and CEO - Mr. Alfredo S. Panlilio, "We have always been a staunch supporter of this growing industry, and part of this commitment is making the best of our technologies available for the advancement of Esports in the country."

During the SEA Games, Smart partnered with the Philippine national Esports team Sibol and offered incentives for Filipino gold medalists. PLDT and Smart also mounted a special 5G showcase at New Clark City to demonstrate to Filipino sports fans the exciting new applications made possible by 5G.

Currently, Smart is set to deploy indoor 5G coverage to support the training grounds of various Esports teams under The Nationals.

"5G is very promising and I am very excited to know that it will be promising for The Nationals. The athletes would surely love the lower latency which would allow them to maximize their response times and teams will benefit from other use cases like instant download of replays and access of VODs for their reviews and strategy phases," shared Mr. Darren Vitug, Commissioner of The Nationals.

PLDT-Smart 5G Powers The Future of Gaming

5G, also known as the fifth-generation wireless broadband technology that supersedes 4G, has the capability to deliver extremely high speeds coupled with lower latency, two factors that are essential in delivering an enhanced gaming experience.

Lower latency delivered by Smart's current 5G network is ideal for real-time AR/VR and game applications. Eventually, with the deployment of 5G standalone (5G SA), this performance will become even better with ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC), which is another key feature of 5G.

5G SA has been described as ‘pure 5G’ as it relies solely on 5G for data transmission and allows the full benefit of 5G capabilities to be tested and demonstrated. In contrast, 5G NSA (non-standalone) combines the use of 5G and existing 4G/LTE resources to transmit data.

Apart from gaming, 5G also opens up possibilities for applications, which will in turn benefit other sectors such as transport, retail, manufacturing, logistics and warehousing, among others.

PLDT-Smart 5G Areas and Milestones

Smart launched the country’s first 5G base stations in Makati and Pampanga in 2018, which transformed Makati City and Clark Freeport Zone into the country’s first ever Smart 5G Cities.

In 2019, Araneta City became the Philippines' first Smart 5G Lifestyle Hub and 5G-enabled shopping mall as it hosted the nation’s first 5G indoor deployment. PLDT and Smart also made 5G available at the Ateneo de Manila University, making it the first Smart 5G campus and enabling the university’s students and tech experts to co-develop useful and relevant 5G applications and solutions

PLDT and Smart have also launched the Smart 5G Alliance, an accelerator for 5G innovations in the country, and made the first 5G Standalone (SA) video call in Southeast Asia using Nokia’s 5G SA core, radio and user equipment installed at the PLDT-Smart 5G Technolab.

Partnering with Cisco, PLDT has also transformed its IP transport infrastructure into a fully automated, software-defined 5G-ready network. This highly reliable, highly scalable, software-defined next-generation infrastructure, which uses PLDT’s existing fiber network, will allow PLDT to seamlessly deliver customized digital experiences to customers.

PLDT-Smart is Best Positioned to Deploy 5G

Having both fixed and wireless infrastructure - powered by the Philippines' most extensive fiber network now at over 307,000 kilometers - in its arsenal, PLDT and Smart are clearly best positioned to deploy 5G in the country.

In fact, in its ongoing LTE and LTE-Advanced nationwide roll-out, Smart is also deploying 5G-capable equipment -- all while upgrading its network’s Core and Transport elements, including upgrading to fiber the backhaul connecting the network’s cell sites across the country.

Based on the findings of gaming researcher NewZoo, the global Esports industry generated roughly $1.1 Billion in revenues and reached in excess of 453 million audiences worldwide in 2019. Additionally, in 2022, Esports is expected to generate $1.8 Billion USD.

No comments: