USTDA awards grant to PLDT-Smart to further 5G deployment

10 Dec 2021

The US Embassy in the Philippines has revealed that the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant to PLDT Inc.’s mobile arm Smart Communications for training to advance the cellco’s plan to expand 5G services to 96% of the Filipino population. The press release noted that USTDA made the award to support Smart’s investment in equipment and services from Cisco Systems.

‘This grant demonstrates USTDA’s commitment to supporting cutting-edge information and communications technology infrastructure in the Philippines, while promoting innovative solutions from U.S. companies,’ said Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally (ret.), USTDA’s Acting Director. ‘We are proud to partner with Smart and Cisco on this project, which will strengthen digital connectivity and bring faster, higher quality, and more affordable digital services to the people of the Philippines.’

The grant reportedly builds on previous USTDA assistance to advance PLDT-Smart’s efforts to modernise the company’s national fibre-optic network and prepare the Philippines for the transition to 5G.