PLDT’s Smart sets up 5G ‘technolab’

6 Jun 2018

PLDT Inc. mobile unit Smart Communications is gearing up for the advent of 5G technology – even as it continues its 4G LTE rollout – by setting up what it is calling a ‘5G technolab’ into the research and development of the next generation platform. With full 5G international standards not expected to be finalised until 2019, according to the GSM Association, and with commercial launches expected to come onstream in 2020, PLDT/Smart vice president and chief revenue officer Ernesto R Alberto confirmed: ‘Even as 5G network technology is still at its early stages, and keeping in mind that it may take some time before 5G can be available commercially, we are already investing in pilot testing our 5G system and paving the way toward having a ‘5G-ready’ network by 2020.’

The company is working with Chinese vendor Huawei to define its strategic and commercial plans for 5G in the Philippines, with a focus on identifying and developing the areas of technological innovation needed to deliver 5G, he said. PLDT Inc. has set aside PHP58 billion (USD1.1 billion) for its CAPEX in 2018, around 54% of which is allocated to its wireless business while 46% is earmarked for fixed line developmental work.