Filipino behemoth PLDT Inc. (incl. Smart Communications) has reportedly postponed the commercial launch of 5G services to early 2020, as the country’s largest operator by subscribers continues its quest to select suitable equipment vendors for the project. In a news briefing, chairman and president Manuel Pangilinan was quoted as saying ‘I don’t think it will happen this year, but certainly sometime next year, early next year,’ despite having previously announced that it was targeting Q4 2019 for fifth-generation services to be available for home broadband and enterprise customers.
Pangilinan, whose company trails its main rival Globe Telecom – which launched the Philippines’ first commercial fixed-wireless 5G service last month – bemoaned the situation, saying: ‘I think we need to determine the standards by which 5G will operate and of course we have to choose a vendor or vendors. I think we are testing with Huawei, we are testing Ericsson, Nokia and maybe one more … So over the next few months we will determine which vendors we’ll choose for 5G.’
Ahead of the launch, however, PLDT-Smart has powered up 5G sites across Luzon, specifically at Clark Freeport Zone, Makati central business district, Ateneo de Manila University campus and Araneta Center in Cubao.