Filipino football fans who watched the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup match between the Philippine Azkals and the Mongolian football team Wednesday night turned to mobile Internet, voice calls and SMS to â€œself-broadcastâ€ real-time updates from the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Prior to the game won by the Philippine Azkals and attended by close to 20,000 spectators from all over the country, Smart Communications Inc. made sure the stadium is â€œbroadband-ready.â€
â€œWe acknowledge the importance of this sporting event, not just to the local fans of the sport but also to the international football community,â€ said Danilo Mojica, head of Smartâ€™s Wireless Consumer Division.
â€œWith the Azkalsâ€™ stunning performance, the Philippines is becoming an emerging football powerhouse and the world is watching. We are glad to provide broadband connectivity to our friends in the media who broke the news to the world. We also ensured continuous quality communication and data services for the thousands of fans who gathered for the game,â€ he said.
Smart provided high-speed wireless broadband Internet at the stadiumâ€™s Media Center to allow journalists to easily and quickly transmit data during the highly anticipated match.
Smart has also fortified its cellular and broadband coverage on the ground to accommodate the huge volume of voice calls, SMS and mobile data connection transactions made by the mobile subscribers who watched â€” and â€œcovered liveâ€ â€” the game.
â€œWe have rolled out Multi Element on Wheels (MEOW) at the site. It is essentially a cell site mounted on a six-wheeler truck,â€ said Mario Tamayo, head of Smartâ€™s Technical Services Division.
â€œThe MEOW is an additional way of ensuring improved quality of service, more capacity and better customer experience during high-traffic events,â€ Tamayo said.
â€œWe expected our subscribers to generate real time buzz on the Philippines-Mongolia match. True enough, they made a number of calls and texts. But more notably, they posted live updates and uploaded photos and videos through social networking sites. Our network was ready to help the Azkals fans enjoy their experience and share their football fever with the rest of the world,â€ Mojica said.
â€œThis is just one of our ways to help promote and propagate football in the country,â€ Mojica added.
Smart provides cellular and broadband coverage to 1,629 cities and municipalities across the country, enabling subscribers to enjoy high-quality mobile and broadband services such as voice, SMS, wireless Internet, mobile banking, financial services, info-on-demand and other value-added services.
Smart is also a known supporter of sports in the country. It has launched projects for the promotion of sports like basketball, boxing, and marathon, among others.
Smart recently pledged P80 million to the Philippine Football Federation for a 10-year football development program aimed at forming a national football league and providing opportunities for skilled football players.