PLDT, Smart to spend ‘historic amount’ for building PH’s first 5G cell site this month

  • PLDT-Smart to spend 58-billion for the country’s first 5G cell site
  • PLDT-Smart Chairman Manny Pangilinan said the technology will benefit the whole country
  • Smart said it presently has more than 2,000 5G-ready sites all over the country
Image capture from einor_agetro’s IG photo

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) Inc. is spending a historic amount of P58-billion this year for capital expenditures in piloting the first-ever 5G network in the Philippines at Clark, Pampanga, as per a Business World story.

According to a GMA News story, PLDT Inc. and its mobile subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. recently inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Clark Development Corp. (CDC) to fire up the first 5G cell site this November.

PLDT-Smart Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan expressed his happiness working with CDC in building the “city of the future” which he said “will benefit not only Clark but the whole country by demonstrating”. He added that Philippines is a step with the rest of the world in adopting advanced intelligent technologies.

The new technology, however, according to PLDT-Smart Chief Technology and Information Advisor Joachim Hord is likely to benefit only the enterprises for now; noting it may take two to three years before commercial users can enjoy 5G.

“We will start to work with enterprises but the roll out would take some time… I think the major activities will be early next year. So this is a year of putting it to service, start the first couple of sites, show it to the partners and then start the discussions.”

Hord added that there are 13 existing sites in Clark that are now 5G-ready which Smart targets to increase to 25 by mid-2019.

He said Smart has more than 2,000 5G-ready sites in the Philippines, having more than 221,000 kilometers of fiber network — to become the backbone for the 5G roll-out.

Image capture from Rhon Purificacion’s IG photo

CDC President and CEO Noel Manankil said, “this undertaking forms part of the vision to help create communities that are smart, technology- focused, something that would help keep our country in the right cadence into the future.”