On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell uttered the words, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” It might not be the most epic statement, but it went down in history as the very first words uttered in the very first telephone call ever made.
Bell’s assistant Mr. Watson, was just in the next room.
Mr. Bell would repeat those same words 38 years later as he inaugurated the US transcontinental telephone service in New York. But unlike before, Watson, who was in California, replied, “It would take me a week to get to you this time.”
But as we all know, phone conversations are seldom mundane, and there are a lot of memorable and sometimes scandalous calls made throughout history, both real and reel.
In 1969, for example, Gloria Diaz knew what she’d do if a man set foot on the moon, but as Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong did so, and soon after their moon shoes touched the lunar surface, they received a phone call from then-President of the United States Richard Nixon.
“Hello Neil and Buzz, I am talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House,” said Nixon. This has to be the most historic telephone call ever made from the White House to someone outside the planet. Unfortunately, for Nixon, there was this other phone call during his term that would eventually become one of the biggest scandals in the US history: Watergate.
Drake’s song “Hotline Bling” may be one of the most popular songs about calls, but as far as Hollywood celebrities go, the most controversial calls ever made were from Alec Baldwin (who called his daughter Ireland a rude thoughtless, little pig) and Mel Gibson with his numerous f-bombs while talking to ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
In the movies, who could forget Liam Neeson’s promise to find his daughter’s kidnappers in Taken, or Hannibal Lecter’s call telling Agent Starling that he was having an old friend “for dinner,” which is equally as frightening as that opening scene from Scream — “You hang up on me again, I’ll gut you like a fish—understand??”—and we all know that didn’t end well for Drew Barrymore’s character.
Here in the Philippines, I’m pretty sure my fellow titos and titas still remember that famous telephone number “801-67-22”, which Andrew E mentioned in “Andrew Ford Medina.” And who could forget that very controversial convo that started with “Hello Garci?”
So don’t you find it a bit weird that as our phones get “smarter,” the lesser we actually use it to make calls? But even if our method of communication has evolved—from calls to texts, to messenger apps and Skype, none of it would be possible without that very first phone call.
In my previous column, I wrote about how Smart Communications made Clark and Makati the first 5G cities in the Philippines. Earlier this week, they added a new milestone, which I think will again be part of Philippine history, as Smart made the very first live 5G to 5G video call in the country.
The 5G-powered video call was made by PLDT-Smart Chief Technology and Information Advisor Joachim Horn from the PLDT headquarters in the Makati City Central Business District, to Clark Development Corp. President and CEO Noel Manankil at Clark Smart 5G City in the Clark Freeport Zone.
The 5G-enabled video call was made using 5G Radio and Core equipment of Smart’s technology partners Huawei in Makati and Ericsson in Clark, showcasing 5G interoperability in a multivendor environment at this early stage.
PLDT-Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said 5G is real and it’s now here in Makati and Clark, and he promised that they are working very hard with their technology partners Huawei and Ericsson in piloting 5G use cases and establishing even more Smart 5G Cities across the country.
In the coming months, Smart is firing up additional 5G cell sites across the Makati Central Business District, paving the way for piloting 5G solutions in densely populated areas like CBDs. Smart has been testing 5G since 2016, when it achieved speeds of 2.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) using 100 MHz with latency of just 1 millisecond over a “live” network—the first in the Philippines.
As part of its 5G preparations, Smart also launched in June its 5G Technolab, the company’s flagship facility for the research and development, standardization and testing of 5G, which is designed to be a sustainable environment for innovative services.
Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources for network transformation. For 2018, PLDT capex is expected to reach P58 billion, which includes allocations for the aggressive roll-out of its fiber broadband service, which also supports the stepped-up deployment of the mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.
THE ONLY MULTIMEDIA GADGET YOU NEED THIS CHRISTMAS
We all love the Christmas season for a variety of reasons even if it is also the busiest time of the year. So it’s always a good idea to have a gadget like the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite, which you can use both for work or play.
The M5 Lite sports is a 10.1-inch Full HD IPS display on its sleek and slim tablet body, making it a more ergonomic and convenient alternative to heavy, unwieldy laptops. Streaming buffs will especially love the highly detailed visual output courtesy of the ClariVu 5.0 display enhancement tech onboard. Whether it’s for watching favorite Christmas movies or video chatting with loved ones overseas, the M5 Lite’s pure screen excellence can’t be beat.
On the audio side, it’s nothing less than Harman Kardon-tuned quad speakers for the M5 Lite. Such is the sound quality produced by the speakers that every musical note, vocal expression and ambient noise transports the user to audio heaven.
The included M-Pen Lite stylus with the M5 Lite elevates the tablet above all else in terms of productivity. Equipped with 2,048 layers of pressure sensitivity, the M-Pen provides a smooth and natural hand feel whether it’s jotting down notes, marking up e-mails, or illustrating. Inspiration truly is a scribble away thanks to M-Pen support.
While tablets are certainly an easy way to placate rowdy kids who’ve perhaps eaten a tad too many sweets, it’s always important to protect their eyesight form screen glare. Parents can enable the M5 Lite’s Eye Comfort feature with five modes for optimal protection which, for instance, reminds kids if they’re too close to the screen, applies blue ray filters or controls usage time. The M5 Lite is smart enough for kids to use safely for extended periods of time, especially during holiday cartoon marathons.
Packing an 8-core processor, 7,500 mAh battery with QuickCharge technology, and EMUI 8.0, the MediaPad M5 Lite transitions seamlessly from productivity machine to entertainment hub. Thanks to such powerful hardware features, the M5 Lite more than keeps up with even the most demanding work, gaming and Web browsing sessions.
If you’re looking for the overall best multimedia experience on a gadget, it’s hard to beat the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite. With a dynamic combination of features that’s suitable for meetings as much as for binge-ing sessions, it truly is the tablet to get for every holiday scenario.
Huawei is also giving a special treat in time for the holidays with a grand Christmas promotion. Ongoing until January 15, 2019, Huawei is giving away amazing free gifts when you purchase their selected devices. More information is available at consumer.huawei.com/ph/campaign/christmas2018/.
CURBING PILFERAGE OF SHIPMENTS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Whenever I would talk to my businessman friends, our topic would somehow always end up with a discussion about their problems with shipping and customs, including delayed shipments, pilferage and even safety. It’s a good thing the Bureau of Customs is implementing a program that will further improve its operations. Called iTrack, this geographic information system allows the BOC to track containers via container seals equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.
The iTrack system covers customs transit operations involving containerized and non-containerized cargo, whether transported by land, water or air. It enhances the capability of the BOC in ensuring that the transit cargo arrives safely and securely at the intended destination by effectively sealing, tracking, monitoring, providing alerts for diversion and tampering, and audit of said cargo through the use of GPS technology. It also strengthens the security and monitoring of transit cargo during customs transit operations.
Customs Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Dy, who heads the Management Information System and Technology Group (MISTG), explained that the iTrack system is intended to directly address the problem of swinging or diversion of transit cargo, since unauthorized stops, route deviations or tampering with the seal in order to open the container will automatically be detected by the system in real time and trigger alarms that will alert the enforcement personnel of the bureau to potential criminal activities. He added that the adoption of the iTrack system will promote the BOC’s increased level of compliance with RKC, SAFE Framework and other related international agreements pertaining to supply chain security. This system is also intended to complement and, ultimately, replace the guarding of transit cargo, where applicable.
The pilot implementation of the iTrack system has allowed the BOC to identify the major routes being used by haulers/truckers/transport/logistic providers and has enabled the bureau to properly define the geo-corridors where the containers may be taken en route to its final destination. Upon rollout to the out ports, there would be a similar process of gathering data of the proper routes that may be taken to ensure that the bureau can identify route deviations from major and common routes. Based on the pilot implementation, there is minimal impact on the processing and release of containers. Outfitting containers with the electronic GPS seal does not take more than two minutes, as long as the arming station for the device is found in an optimal location.
Dy believes that the iTrack system is a modern technological innovation that will definitely address the problems of the BOC with regards to security and monitoring of transit cargo. Through the iTrack system, smuggling by pilferage due to “swinging” or diverting of transit cargo “will be eliminated, and real-time monitoring with regards to location will be enabled. We are confident that the iTrack system will ensure that trade corridors are secure and cargo transported between bonded ports and zones are released from origin and arrive at the destination untampered.”