Smart leads in 5G roaming

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

Elijah Felice Rosales – The Philippine Star

October 1, 2023 | 12:00am

The wireless unit of telco giant PLDT Inc. is now operating 5G services across seven regions through partnerships with 140 operators.

Philstar.com / Irish Lising

MANILA, Philippines — Smart Communications Inc. has expanded its 5G roaming to a total of 81 countries worldwide to maintain its lead in the competition for global subscribers.

The wireless unit of telco giant PLDT Inc. is now operating 5G services across seven regions through partnerships with 140 operators.

PLDT first vice president and head of enterprise and international business groups Mitch Locsin said Smart continues to tie up with foreign operators to bolster its 5G reach.

“As we expand our 5G roaming coverage through strong partnerships with key telco partners, we hope to empower our global customers with fast 5G data roaming speeds from islands to cities to allow them to access technology when it matters most,” Locsin said.

In Asia, Smart offers 5G roaming in Azerbaijan, Brunei Darussalam, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

It also has 5G presence in Australia, Guam, New Zealand, Northern Marianas and the US Virgin Islands for Australia and Oceania as well as Bahrain, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for the Middle East.

Among all regions, Smart retains its largest network of 5G roaming of 43 countries in Europe. It also offers 5G coverage in Africa, particularly Egypt and South Africa.

It also extends 5G roaming in Canada, Puerto Rico and the US for North America as well as in Brazil and Peru for South America.

Smart has streamlined the procedure for tourists with 5G devices and SIMs to connect to its 5G network.

It grants foreigners access to its 5G services for as long as they use a SIM of a partner operator.

Smart’s parent PLDT owns one of the biggest fiber footprints in the Philippines of more than 1.1 million kilometers. This infrastructure is composed of 885,000 kilometers of domestic fiber and 231,000 kilometers of international fiber.

These assets also support Smart’s network, covering about 97 percent of the population with 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G services.

Smart is working on regaining its position as the market leader in the mobile segment, as the gap separating its subscriber base with Globe Telecom was cut to around one million at the end of SIM registration on July 30.

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