PLDT plots Q2 service launch for 5G, paper says

10 Mar 2020

The Philippine Star writes that PLDT Inc. is accelerating network development with a view to readying itself for the commercial launch of 5G services in the second quarter of this year. The paper cites chief revenue officer and Smart Communications president Al Panlilio as saying: ‘We’re starting to roll out some base stations for 5G … We are plotting to have something that we can bring to the market maybe sometime in the second quarter. But for the meantime, we’re just focused on making sure that we are able to fix the network at this point.’ As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in announcing its latest financial results, PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel Pangilinan confirmed that his company was looking to make ‘a more meaningful investment this year’ with 5G, although he declined to produce a rollout timetable. The telco was considering a plan to launch a 5G fixed-wireless home broadband/enterprise service in Q4 2019, but postponed in order to better assess the development of the new technology. It has been testing 5G on a proof of concept (PoC) basis with technology providers such as Huawei, ZTE, Nokia, Cisco Systems and Ericsson. Further, wireless arm Smart has also deployed 5G base stations in Makati and Pampanga (in 2018), as part of plans to transform Makati City and Clark Freeport Zone into the country’s first ‘Smart 5G Cities’. It is understood that the company plans to introduce its 5G commercial service in select areas initially as it cannot be made available nationwide immediately.