Digital Edge Accelerates Growth in South East Asia with Expansion into the Philippines

Digital Edge (Singapore) Holdings Pte. Ltd. established a joint venture in the Philippines with the Threadborne Group, a local family office focused on technology and real estate. The JV will construct and operate a 10MW data center in Manila, with a capital commitment in excess of USD100 million collectively from both parties. The new data center will be based on Digital Edge’s next-generation architecture and operated under the Digital Edge brand name.

Already under construction, the Manila data center is slated to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022. It will be the largest operational carrier-neutral data center in the Philippines. The facility also aims to be the most advanced facility in the market, in terms of energy and water efficiency, with an expected annualized PUE of 1.193 at optimal operating temperature and WUE of 1.355.  The facility will allow Digital Edge to offer flexible, high-quality colocation and interconnection services to both local and international customers in the Greater Manila region. The low PUE and WUE make the facility uniquely suitable in the market for cloud and other high power density colocation applications.

According to Structure Research, the Philippines’s colocation market is expected to become a US$313M market by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 22% between 2021 and 2026. Jabez Tan, Head of Research at Structure Research, notes that “Alibaba Cloud is currently the first and only hyper-scale cloud platform to announce a cloud region deployment in Manila, Philippines, and we believe more cloud region announcements will soon follow in the next two years driven by the overall decentralization of hyper-scale cloud platforms into more distributed and in-country data center architectures to cater for the increasing performance requirements and data privacy regulations.

“The Philippines is an underserved market with huge demand for data center capacity and, together with the Threadborne Group, we intend to be at the forefront of developing the critical data center infrastructure for this market,” said Samuel Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Edge. “The Threadborne Group’s principals are experienced real estate developers with a proven track record and we are very pleased to have joined forces with them to undertake this important initiative. This venture is another step forward in the Company’s ambition to transform Asia’s digital infrastructure by building and operating the most energy-efficient and connectivity-rich data centers in key emerging markets.”

“Digital Edge’s knowledge and experience in designing, constructing, and operating data centers combined with our local real estate and customer knowledge, has created a solid foundation on which to grow this partnership,” said Raymond Rufino, Principal for Investments and Real Estate of the Threadborne Group. “Digital Edge shares our strong conviction for this market and in the importance of setting robust, long-term ESG goals. We are already receiving very positive feedback from a number of potential customers and are confident that this is just the beginning!”

“We are very excited about the energy and water efficiency achieved in the design of the Digital Edge Manila data center. Given Manila’s hot and humid climate, it is extremely difficult to achieve an annualized PUE of 1.193 at the optimal operating temperature, but the team has been able to achieve an impressive result,” said Jay Park, Chief Development Officer of Digital Edge. “The WUE of 1.355 is also significant in that it uses less than a quarter of the water needed for cooling when compared to traditional-style cooling tower type setups. These are industry-leading numbers. We will be seeking LEED Gold certification, EDGE certification, and participating as an early pilot partner for BERDE (Philippines Local Green Building Certification). This data center will most certainly put the Philippines into the league of having one of the most advanced data centers in Asia.”

Dining In can now feel safer with B Hotel’s Park & Dine

B Hotel Alabang and B Hotel Quezon City have recently launched the “Park & Dine” option for guests who are still hesitant to dine inside restaurant establishments due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With Park & Dine, guests can park, order, and enjoy their favorite dishes within the comfort of their vehicles. It will be served to their cars how it would normally be inside the hotel’s café and restaurants.

A specially made plank will be placed on the guests’ vehicle to serve as a dining table. Various payment options are available, including cashless or digital payments for lesser contact.

“We thought about the guests who miss dining in but are still afraid of going outside their comfort zones, and even guests who love to order from our hotels but are not within the reach of their delivery apps,” said Mr. Ryan Chan, B Hotels Managing Director, as to why they pursued this new concept.

With this new initiative, dining in can now feel safer and with the same quality of food and services as inside the hotel.

As one of the leading locally-owned hotel groups, The Bellevue Hotels & Resorts remain committed to offering its guests a safe and comfortable dining experience.  All of its hotels are consistently implementing stringent health and safety protocols to ensure the well-being of both their guests and employees.

Park & Dine is available at B Hotel Alabang’s Prime Café from 4 PM to 10 PM, Mondays to Sundays; and at B Hotel Quezon City’s Johnny’s Steak and Grill from 11 AM to 8 PM, Wednesdays to Saturdays.

For more information, guests can reach (+632) 8828 8181 for B Hotel Alabang, and (+632) 990 5000 for B Hotel Quezon City.

The Bellevue Resort Spearheads Trash Free Seas in Bohol

Two-time ASEAN Green Hotel awardee, The Bellevue Resort – Bohol, forefronts Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup in Bohol for the fourth year in a row. Despite the pandemic, the resort has not lost sight of its underlying commitment to protect the environment. This year, they expanded its participation province-wide with 2-day hybrid activities in partnership with the Department of Tourism and Provincial Government of Bohol through the Provincial Tourism Office.

The five-star resort kicked off the worldwide campaign by hosting a webinar entitled “Connect and Collect: Trash Free Seas Start at Home” with 128 virtual attendees with speakers – Miss Universe PH ‘20 – 3rd Runner Up and Ambassador for Tourism, Ms. Pauline Amelinckx, Bb. Pilipinas International 2021, Ms. Hannah Arnold, and Coastal Resource Division Head of Bohol Environment Management Office, Ms. Villa Pelindingue, who shared their insights and talked about interesting waste management methods and possible solutions starting at home.

On September 18, 2021, a total of 772 volunteers all over Bohol joined the socially distant cleanup drive with 22 LGUs in their respective communities with small-scale groups, including organizations and private sectors, who all formed special bubble groups to ensure everyone’s safety while following health protocols. Among the volunteers were 63 licensed divers for underwater cleanup at Doljo Seas, Panglao Island. 

Volunteers were able to remove a total of 2,159 kilos of non-biodegradable trash from coastline and underwater – successfully collected and segregated. While following strict safety protocols, this year’s ICC would have not been possible without the support of its dedicated volunteers and partners namely, the Department of Tourism, Provincial Government of Bohol led by Governor Art Yap, Municipality of Panglao, Globe Telecom, Club Aquasports, Clean Code, Sea & Land, Blue Freedom Apnea, Plastic Free Bohol, and Mister Bohol Organization.

Things may be different due to the ongoing pandemic, but now that we are getting accustomed to the new norm, we can still make an impact when we work together or even apart to clean up and protect our oceans.

Since its opening in 2013, the luxurious and eco-friendly resort has been consistently spearheading meaningful initiatives – leading responsible tourism in Bohol, in its efforts to highlight the importance of playing an active role in promoting sustainability and helping the community.

Havaianas paints the town with pride through the Rainbow Walkway

Inspired by the celebrated Pride March, the Rainbow Walkway aims to serve as a creative alley and safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. Havaianas Philippines hopes to keep the spirit of Pride alive through this small project.

Whether people strut down the PRIDE Catwalk like a queen or chill on the socially-distanced Rainbow Benches for a quick breather, everyone is welcome to stick around! There’s even a Charging Station, where people can charge their mobile phones or e-bikes, as well as a vibrant #AllLoveWelcome String Art.

Havaianas Philippines introduced its first-ever Pride Squad earlier this year with the hopes of creating a welcoming environment during the month-long Pride celebration. To further support the community, a percentage of every purchase from their Pride Collection is donated to All Out (a global LGBTQIA+ non-profit organization) and the Metro Manila Pride Organization (a local LGBTQIA+ non-profit organization), non-profit organizations that are focused on empowering the LGBTQIA+ community and defending their rights.

With these initiatives, Havaianas hopes to encourage everyone to feel free and proud all year round because Pride never stops–– and all love is welcome, in any form or color.

The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts offers exclusive deals on SOS to ramp up local tourism efforts

One of the leading locally-owned hotel groups, The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts (BH&R) pushes its effort to support and revive tourism in the country by joining Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International’s (HSMA) September Online Sale (SOS) from September 15 to October 15, 2021.

SOS aims to contribute to local tourism recovery and bring back public confidence for safe travels. BH&R’s properties – The Bellevue Manila, B Hotel Quezon City, and The Bellevue Resort – Bohol will continue to participate in this year’s online sale, and bring distinctive, safe, and worry-free experiences to its guests.

In this year’s SOS, BH&R is offering the following best value hotel and resort packages that can be used anytime until December next year:

  • The Bellevue Manila
    • Ensaymada Overload Voucher – The best-selling Ensaymada in town is on an exclusive buy 3, get 1 free sale at Php285! People can choose from various flavors such as Ube, Malolos, Leche Flan, Chocolate, and Plain.
    • Phoenix Court Dimsum & More Voucher – Relish on Phoenix Court’s dishes with only Php1,500, good for two persons. Enjoy this 28% off by yourself or as a gift.
  • B Hotel Quezon City
    • Stay at B Room Promo – Experience staying in a Superior Room at B Hotel QC with only Php 2,799 per night. This promo includes a Php500 food and beverage (F&B) credit, and an additional 10% discount.
    • Steak Experience at Johnny’s Steak & Grill – Enjoy a grilled steak perfection with a four-course steak experience for only Php2,499, good for two persons. This includes a complimentary two glasses of house wine and 25% off from its regular price.
    • Gift Voucher at Johnny’s Steak & Grill – Either use it for yourself or as a gift, this voucher applies a 15% discount from its regular price and is already good for two persons.
    • Intimate Feast – For the price of Php10,999, 10 guests will be able to indulge with three-course plated lunch or dinner, one round of iced tea, one bottle of house wine, and use of the function room for four hours.
    • B Blissful Package – For wedding preparations, this package would best suit the bride and groom as they can choose whether to avail of two nights stay in a Superior Room with breakfast for two or an overnight stay in two Superior Rooms with breakfast for four, for only Php15,888. This includes congratulatory wine and cheese platter, permission to shoot in designated areas, complimentary use of one mannequin, Johnny’s Steak and Grill gift certificate worth Php2,000, and a 10% off discount on additional rooms.
  • The Bellevue Resort – Bohol
    • Seas The Day (Day Use Promo) – For only Php988 per person, guests can enjoy Php800 worth of food and beverages (F&B) credit in their Marea restaurant, beach access, use of the infinity pool, and use of game and non-motorized aqua sports facilities.
    • Pair-fect Moment (Romantic Dinner for Two) – Enjoy a four-course set meal with a personal butler, and a matching romantic set-up by the beach, garden or view deck for only Php 4,999.
    • Te-reef-fic Get-away (Room only and Room with Breakfast) – Guests can have their overnight stay in a Superior or Deluxe Room with or without breakfast for two. There will also be discounts in F&B, spa services, boat rentals, and complimentary use of non-motorized aqua sports facilities. All for only Php3,999 and Php4,999 respectively.
    • Let’s Sea-lebrate! (Themed Party Package) – Celebrate your day at the resort with its themed party package for only Php13,888 which you can choose from kiddie, slumber to pool party. Packages include complimentary use of venues for 4 hours, food, and more.

*Terms and conditions apply for all properties

As part of the BH&R’s commitment to safer tourism, all its hotels are implementing stringent measures to maintain public health standards set by the government to enable people to travel with ease.

This exclusive sale runs for a limited time only. For more information, email The Bellevue Manila at irdps@thebellevue.com or call (632) 8771-8181 local 2300, B Hotel Quezon City at ressupervisor@thebellevue.com or call (632) 8990 5000, and The Bellevue Resort – Bohol at sregalado@thebellevuebohol.com or call (6338) 422 2222.

Gear up with MSI’s Back to School Promo

It is once again that time of the year where school starts right around the corner. MSI, a world leader in producing high-performance and innovative laptops, is ready with its back-to-school promo that starts on August 1 and lasts until September 30, 2021.

Students of different backgrounds, whether they are gamers by night, studious types, or artistic individuals, and coming from all sorts of diverse strands from arts, business, engineering, to even from the sciences, can all gear up for this upcoming school year when they purchase their MSI gaming, or business and productivity laptops that come with various freebies that can be worth as much as PHP 11,000. Freebies such as gaming headsets, backpacks, neck pillows, wireless mouse, external HDD, and many more are up for grabs!

Make the most out of your school experience with MSI

The hustle and bustle of school have its own challenges, especially while people are still stuck in their homes. MSI’s GF Series, Modern 14, SummitE15, and Stealth 15M are perfect for facing tough tests and tedious artworks and projects while doing synchronous online classes. Students do not have to worry about laptop lags as these laptops are built for long and robust performance.

The thin and light laptops, GF series are made foron-the-go students that can carry their laptops everywhere, coming in at 1.86kg. These laptops are built to withstand the heavy loads of school and gaming with their heavy-duty performance, but also made to be stylish with their sleek framework, having a 21.77mm build. It is a good thing these high-end series laptops come with gaming backpacks, gaming headsets, and a gaming mouse when bought on MSI’s Back to School promo, as this perfectly pairs with GF series’ aesthetic and mobile design.

MSI’s Back to School Promo also includes the brand-new Katana GF Series. These laptops are inspired by the swift power of the Katana, designed by famed Japanese illustrator Tsuyoshi Nagano, who is noted for his work in the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” video game series. The Katana GF66 is set to inspire users and students with it being powered by NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 30 Series graphics and featuring independent number pads, even on the smaller 15-inch variant. These laptops are more than just entry-level gaming configurations; they are your first partner for long-lasting battles in online school and the virtual world.

The Modern 14 on the other hand, boasts its style and high performance. Powered with the AMD RYZEN 4000 series processor, these laptops last up to 10-hours on-the-go and are perfect for gaming, productivity, and content creation. These laptops are made to last as they are engineered to withstand the high demands that come with everyday student work, gaming, and online classes.

Meanwhile, the Stealth 15M is perfect for students who love to multi-task as this laptop expands ones’ vision across multiple displays with HDMI and Thunderbolt™ 4. Students may also enjoy up to 8K resolution output via Thunderbolt™ 4 for some extra productivity and fun.

For students of Business, Statistics, Mathematics, and students who like to pull an all-nighter who require high performance of computing, SummitE15 is a perfect choice. Its portability and performance are boosted with the latest 11th Gen Intel® processor and NVIDIA® GeForce GTX™ 1650 Ti graphics, which is the most powerful ever. It is also equipped with TPM 2.0 that provides enterprise-grade security to keep all students’ documents safe and secured. This laptop is designed for non-stop, on-the-go, study, or work anytime, anywhere with a long-lasting battery and fast-charge technology.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab these amazing laptops with various freebies while you still can! The MSI 2021 Back to School Promo runs for a limited time only. For full details, please visit https://ph.msi.com/Promotion/back-to-school-2021/nb.

Twitter insights reveal what are the Filipino Millennials up to

Whatever generation someone belongs to, there will always be topics and interests that they can relate and connect to on Twitter. As the place for #WhatsHappening in the world, it is where Filipinos keep track of global and local events, news, or trends.

Aside from the tech-savvy Gen Z, Millennials also gather on Twitterverse. Around 35.2% of Filipinos on Twitter are Millennials[1] and 56% of which use the app at least once a day[2]. Millennials aren’t kids anymore. The youngest in the group is 25, while the oldest is 38[3]. In a phase wherein they are “in between” being young and mature, it’s interesting what are the activities and discussions that unfold among this generation.

Here are key insights to better understand who and what are the Filipino Millennials up to.

  1. Millenials love to stay connected

As going online is still our safest bet to connect and interact, Filipino Millennials are on Twitter fulfilling various pursuits such as keeping in touch with their friends (77%), doing some work-related networking or research (44%), and finding like-minded people (32%)[4].

Going on Twitter means having a discovery mindset on seeking new connections and information about the world around them. In fact, Twitter is their go-to place to read news and score updates. Millennials on Twitter keep track of news stories (56%), content such as memes (44%), events or trends as they happen (32%)[5].

2. Millennials are expressive on Twitter

Aligned with their knack for discovery is being open about their life on Twitter. Filipino Millennials on Twitter talk about their lives such as sharing stories about their pets, shows they recently streamed, or just random thoughts (49%). Meanwhile, they also make their voice count on Twitter by being expressive on their opinions and taking a stand about the things that matters to them (44%)[6].

Their voice matters and they know that by actively expressing themselves on Twitter. With this, it’s important to acknowledge their concerns and take on topics and issues.

“As we all navigate through the toughest periods of the pandemic and help our communities towards gradual recovery, paying close attention to the needs of our consumers allows us to stay true to our long-term commitment of supporting and delighting many of our kababayans. Twitter is a space brimming with ideas and opinions from many Filipinos; we always strive to leverage this platform to create meaningful conversations that usher everyday solutions and thoughtful innovations,” says Grab Philippines Country Marketing Head Justine Anne Aruta.

3. Millennials hope for the future

Majority of people in this generation are working (59.4%)[7], so topics such as money and finances are top of mind. While it’s never too late to set financial goals, Millennials feel the pang of social pressures to achieve financial milestones at their age. 74% of them are optimistic that their finances will get better in the 6 months, and they are taking action by exploring options to grow or secure both their wealth and future by investing in life insurance (+11% on purchase) and health insurance (39%)[8]

In the same vein, Millennials on Twitter are taking charge of their health be it physically or mentally. They have a broad definition of health and 45% of them are upfront and confident talking about their mental health[9].

4. Millennials are hyper-connected

Filipino Millennials on Twitter know what they want, from hobbies down to the media they want to consume. Their hyper-connectedness and love of consuming content give rise to new formats. In particular, 76% are into music streaming, 65% likes online streaming, another 65% prefers gaming consoles, while 45% are into podcasts[10].

Because of the #StayHome period, Millennials’ engagement with streaming services is at an all-time high.

“Filipinos have fully embraced streaming as their source of entertainment and we credit this growth to the people who are enjoying the content, sharing their experiences, and encouraging everyone to join in watching the latest series and new-found favorites on Twitter. As the brand, we see a Tweet as a powerful virtual word of mouth and complement this with various Twitter products for specific campaign goals,” said Vinchi Sy-Quia, Operations Director, VIU Philippines.

Embracing the Millennial audience

With their vigor to connect, express, and share, Filipino Millennials on Twitter have the power to reshape the consumer marketplace. They have a clear picture of what they want (and vice versa) and their consumer habits evolve as norms change. However, it does not mean that this generation is elusive, all that is needed is for brands to embrace Millennial’s uniqueness.

Here are some tips on how brands can resonate to the Millennial audience:

  • Technology changes how they shop – Millennials prefer to shop online, to research before buying a product and are driven by deals such as free delivery promos.
  • Go digital – Meet their strong demand for convenience by bringing the brand within their fingertips.
  • Be creative on content – Amplify your message by using rich media content. Play around with videos or make your campaigns more interactive and engaging.
  • Allow them to be expressive – Let your Millennial audience talk to you and try to genuinely address their concerns.
  • Be real – Millennials support causes with an authentic set of values and beliefs. Connect by supporting the causes and issues they are passionate about.

[1] Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials | Q1 2021

[2] Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials | Q1 2021

[3] Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials | Q1 2021

[4] Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials | Q1 2021

[5] Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials | Q1 2021

[6] Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials | Q1 2021

[7] Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials vs. Gen X | Q1 2021

[8] Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials | Q1 2021

[9] Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials | Q1 2021

[10]  Source: GWI: Twitter Users in the Philippines – Millennials | Q1 2021

RSG enters PH esports scene to delight local fans

RSG, the premier Singapore-based Southeast Asian professional esports organization, officially entered the Philippines esports scene, the latest of its overseas markets.

Recently, it was announced that the very first RSG PH professional esports team will make its debut in the upcoming Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines Season 8.

The team also recruited Elyson Edouard “GHOST Wrecker” Caranza, one of the country’s most popular streamers along with the team captain, Kenneth Jiane “Kenji” Villa.

Meanwhile, Brian “Panda” Lim, who led the Philippines to a Gold Medal win at the 30th SEA Games, will guide the team as its coach. Esports veteran Richardson “RJ” Jacinto will serve as the RSG PH Country Manager.

The team line-up will also comprise of:
● Arvie “Aqua” Calderon
● Dexter “Exort” Martinez
● Earvin John “Heath” Esperanza
● Eman “Emann” Sangco
● Joshwell Christian “Iy4knu” Manaog
● Jonard Cedrix “Demonkite” Caranto
● Nathanael “Nathzz” Estrologo

“With the second largest population in Southeast Asia, Philippines has a highly enthusiastic esports community that has grown rapidly in recent years. As the esports scene gathers momentum in the region, RSG is proud to be one of the first few regional esports organizations to expand our presence and support the development of the local esports industry,” said Founder and CEO of RSG, Jayf Soh.

“We hope to bring to the fans here our experience in developing esports champions, drive innovation in the way we create and engage fans, and last but not least, the trademark RSG spirit of relentlessly pursuing excellence. We will be working together with stakeholders and fans to educate the masses about esports, and contribute to a more robust ecosystem as we aspire to be the leading esports organization here,” he added.

RSG also unveiled to include developing professional esports teams and talent, which will support RSG’s strategy to grow the local esports talent pool and raise the bar in engaging the gaming community and improving fan experiences.

They also plan to expand and include other game titles across console, PC and mobile platforms, support local content creators and talent, and explore long-term collaborations to raise mass awareness and interest on esports.

Founded in 2017, RSG operates across Southeast Asia to engage the gaming audience through esports teams and content creators. The company’s premier esports teams specialise in leading game titles such as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty and Warcraft, and have participated in over 200 tournaments collectively.

Building on its presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Philippines, RSG will continue its growth strategy through regional expansion efforts into key Southeast Asian markets. The esports organisation also plans to compete in more games and reach 150 million gaming audience in Southeast Asia by the end of 2021.

Saying goodbye to Twitter Fleets

Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

After eight months since its roll out, Twitter’s ephemeral Fleets feature now bids its goodbye starting August 3.

The company announced this move in a blog post last July 14, stating that they haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people using Fleets.

The said feature was created to help people share their fleeting thoughts, in a lower-pressure way compared to declaring it out loud using Tweets.

The company also shared that they hoped Fleets would help people be more comfortable in joining conversations on Twitter, but those who are using Fleets were already Tweeting.

Meanwhile, people will still see icons of accounts holding live Spaces at the top of the timeline, where Fleets were originally placed.

Despite the lukewarm turnout, Twitter promised to continue evolving and learning to serve the publication.

For the full blog post, please click here.

Smart 5G powers Mountain Telemedicine, bringing help and hope

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) has fired up more 5G sites across the country.

There are now more than 3,000 sites across the country, enabling communities to experience Smart 5G’s super-fast data service. One of these is Barangay Linut-od, a mountain barangay in Argao in the province of Cebu. The availability of 5G in the area has enabled remote patient health consultation—or what we now know as “telemedicine”.

Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart, emphasized the importance of expanding the network to support far-flung communities, even with the hurdles posed by the pandemic. “Rolling out the network in an archipelago and the countryside presents various unique challenges. But we are committed to expanding our network and making sure our technology reaches all communities and have the best customer experience with Smart.”

Smart powers Mountain Telemedicine

Telemedicine offers a low-cost and more convenient means of delivering healthcare services that can support mountain communities and reach more residents living in far-flung areas like Linut-od.

Among the beneficiaries of mountain telemedicine is a 51-year-old patient in Linut-od, Elena Camson, who was diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease in 2018. Before the firing up of Smart’s cell site in the barangay, Elena had to travel to the town proper for her medical consultations. “When there was still no network signal here, we had to go to the city for check-ups. We used to walk from our house to another barangay where we can ride jeepneys to reach the city,” says Elena.

Argao’s community doctor, Dr. Stanley Caminero operates two charity clinics in Argao: one in the municipality’s town proper and one in barangay Linut-od. With telco facilities enhancing the delivery of medical services, efforts at promoting healthcare can now reach longer distances and underserved communities.

“A strong network signal is a huge help in our advocacy to treat patients, which is made possible by telemedicine. Patients can directly contact us whenever they feel sick or if they are in need of consultation, especially if they cannot immediately proceed to the city hospital,” shared Dr. Caminero.

Since the Smart cell site in Linut-od, Argao was fired up in 2019, the delivery of essential health services in the barangay has also improved. Cristina Alberca, Barangay Health Worker for 3 years, has also felt the difference and the massive improvement in the mobilization of their services since the availability of signal and connectivity in the barangay.

“Back then, we had to tread our way to the different puroks or districts because we did not have direct access to them. With Smart’s fast connectivity, our job has been made easy. We’ve created several group chats via online multi-media platforms where we can directly send announcements, updates, and schedules in order to also prevent crowding,” shared Alberca. Alberca and other barangay health workers have utilized technology and connectivity in ensuring the timely delivery of quality healthcare in the mountain barangay.

Dr. Caminero underscores the value of fast and reliable connectivity in enabling a more inclusive healthcare service, especially in unserved and underserved communities, “Through Smart’s 5G signal, we can assure quality service and accurate diagnoses to our patients. I hope for the continuous connectivity advancement in our mountain barangays, especially those areas that are still not reached by network providers. It can greatly aid us, especially in treating patients living in the mountains with little access to quality healthcare service.”

Smart’s 5G nationwide rollout, strengthening its leadership

Launched last year, Smart ‘s 5G service was quickly expanded to cover key cities in Visayas and Mindanao, strengthening the company’s commitment to bring the best digital technologies closer to more Filipinos across the country. This advancement has benefitted several communities, including mountain barangays in Argao.

Continuing this big push for 5G in the country, Smart also recently expanded its Unli 5G offer to cover all Smart 5G sites nationwide–an unprecedented move that enables more Filipinos to enjoy Smart’s most powerful offer on its fastest technology yet.

5G, the latest upgrade in wireless communications, offers fiber-like data speeds on mobile and ultra-low latency, enabling excellent customer experience in uploading and downloading large files, uninterrupted playing of online games, seamless streaming of high-resolution videos, and next-level audio-video call experience which aids mountain telemedicine, among others.

These initiatives are part of PLDT and Smart’s continuous expansion of their fully integrated network, the largest in the country. Smart’s mobile network, which serves 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, has also been recognized as the fastest mobile network in the country by third-party analytics firms including Ookla and Opensignal. Enabling Smart’s 5G network is PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the country’s most extensive at over 478,000 kilometers as of end-March 2021.