PLDT's wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has teamed up with a Canada-based firm to deliver improved video experience for its customers.

Smart recently signed a partnership with Firstlight Media, whose fifth-generation, cloud-native platform is expected to provide a seamless, cross-platform video infrastructure for the PLDT group's mobile and home over-the-top or OTT video applications.


This will enable differentiated video experiences and a suite of new cutting-edge capabilities without the complexity of maintaining separate applications for the group's various brands.

"This is truly a game-changer for our GigaPlay users, who could now enjoy the best content with a leveled-up experience enabled by this powerful seamless platform and the country's Fastest 5G Mobile Network according to Ookla," said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart, adding that the Smart network was also recently hailed by Ookla for delivering the country's Best Mobile Video Experience across all mobile technologies.

"Though these recognitions are proof that our network investments are bearing fruit, we continue to look for ways to improve our services, including working with platform partners like Firstlight to help us deliver world-class video experience to our customers," said Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart.


Smart's GigaPlay app offers free access to specially curated live and on-demand sports and entertainment content exclusive to subscribers.  The new GigaPlay app was launched on March 26, at the start of the new University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season. 


Downloadable on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, GigaPlay also offers live and on-demand coverage of the biggest local and international sports leagues, including the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Japan B League, National Basketball Association (NBA), National Basketball League (NBL), Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), and the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).


Also included in GigaPlay's expanding catalogue are international and K-Pop music award shows and concerts, Korean drama series, and Hallyu Hangouts sessions, among other awesome content attuned to the passions of Filipinos.


Video is among the key drivers of data usage in the Philippines. In 2021, mobile data traffic on Smart's network grew to 3,337 petabytes, up by 16% compared to 2020. Smart also recorded 42.6 million active data users in 2021.


To support growing mobile data traffic, Smart increased to nearly 75,400 its total base stations nationwide as of end-December 2021, supporting its 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G customers from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi. This includes around 7,200 5G base stations, putting Smart in a good position to capture and support the growing 5G adoption in the country.

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