PLDT said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ericsson for the 5G deployment, which is eyed to commence in Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island where about a third of the population work and live.
PLDT taps Ericsson for 5G deployment
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. and technology giant Ericsson are teaming up to deploy the country’s first 5G pilot network within the first half of next year.

PLDT said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ericsson for the 5G deployment, which is eyed to commence in Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island where about a third of the population work and live.

The 5G trial system that will be deployed in Smart includes Ericsson 5G RAN, core, and transport solutions.

PLDT said the 5G pilot deployment would allow Smart to explore industry partnership engagements, collaborate with schools and universities, and further develop competence in 5G.

PLDT-Smart chairman and chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said the partnership with Ericsson is part of the company’s commitment to bring to the country the latest technologies to improve the experience of customers, while also boosting the digital transformation of enterprises and industries.

“As 5G opens up more opportunities for new services and solutions to offer to our customers, we are investing in future-proofing our network and making sure that our network is ready for 5G,” Pangilinan said.

“We are happy to partner with Smart to pioneer 5G in the Philippines. We believe first movers in 5G can reshape the market, grow market share and increase revenue streams. Combining improved capacity and ultra-low latency, 5G will help realize new use cases and business models and capture new revenue opportunities by addressing industry digitalization,” said Martin Wiktorin, head of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei, Philippines and Pacific Islands.

Mario Tamayo, PLDT and Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering, said Smart is upgrading its network’s core and transport elements to deliver 5G services to its customers in the future.

Under its current upgrades, Smart is installing 5G-compatible radio equipment across its network, which now has over 2,000 5G-ready sites.

“As we continue to ramp up the roll-out of LTE, LTE-Advanced and carrier aggregation technology nationwide, we are also making sure that these are already future-proof and 5G-capable,” Tamayo said.

 Smart said it has been testing 5G since 2016, when it achieved with technology partner Nokia 5G speeds of 2.5 gigabits per second using 100 MHz with latency of just one millisecond over a live network.

PLDT and Smart have also entered into a partnership with Huawei Technologies Philippines “to shape the strategic and commercial development of the 5G ecosystem in the Philippines.”

For 2018, PLDT has earmarked capital expenditures of P58 billion, which includes allocations for the aggressive roll-out of its fiber broadband service.

Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc., for its part, earlier said it is also on course with its targeted 5G deployment by the second quarter of next year.

5G TECHNOLOGY ERICSSON MANUEL V. PANGILINAN SMART COMMUNICATIONS INC.
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