PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications announced that its first cell sites with fifth generation technology (5G) capability have been made operational in Makati City and Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga as part of its efforts to deliver fast and affordable mobile services.
In a statement on Wednesday, PLDT and Smart said it has activated its first 5G cell site at its headquarters in Makati City with technology partner Huawei Technologies and another 5G cell site at its Smart 5G City in Clark with Ericsson.
“I am happy to announce that PLDT and Smart just fired up the first 5G cell sites in the country, putting the company alongside the first-tier operators in the world to have deployed live 5G base stations. This is part of our commitment to bring the most advanced technologies to the country,” PLDT and Smart Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
The telco said it is focused on delivering its 5G services in high density areas for the benefit of enterprises.
“With 5G resources now in place, we are looking at developing 5G solutions and applications for central business district areas like Makati, which host a dense population of businesses, people and advanced devices,” according to Ernesto Alberto, PLDT and Smart Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.
PLDT and Smart signed a memorandum of understanding last week with Clark Development Corporation to launch Clark Freeport Zone as its first Smart 5G City in the country.
Around 25 5G cell sites will be deployed in Clark within the next six months, according to PLDT.
Smart will be enhancing its network’s core and transport elements including upgrading to fiber the backhaul connecting the network’s cell sites around the country and deploying 5G-ready equipment in its ongoing nationwide LTE roll-out.
“With 5G cell sites now live and on-air, we are now set to test 5G’s powerful platform to develop solutions such as autonomous vehicles, connected fleets, and smart buildings and factories, and be able to deliver 5G services to our customers soon,” PLDT-Smart chief technology and information advisor Joachim Horn said.
Among the features of 5G technology are enhanced mobile broadband connectivity, high-speed wireless services and capability to transmit data with minimal delays.
With its capability to deliver extremely high speeds coupled with low latency, 5G provides opportunities for Internet of Things (IoT) applications for Filipinos, as well as smart applications for the transport sector, traffic management, manufacturing, airport and mall operations, logistics and warehousing, retail, customer support, and smart homes, among others.
PLDT expects mobile phones with 5G capability to be available in the country within the second half of next year.
The 5G rollout is part of PLDT’s capital expenditure for 2018, amounting to PHP58 billion which include allocations for the deployment of its fiber broadband service, in line with the of expansion of its mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations. (PNA)