A 5G Technolab is now what the Smart people are busy with. This is a facility that will focus on the research and development, standardization, and testing of 5G, or fifth-generation wireless broadband technologies and services.
“Even as 5G network technology is still at its early stages, and keeping in mind that it may take some time before 5G can be available commercially, we are already investing in pilot testing our 5G system and paving the way toward having a ‘5G-ready’ network by 2020,” said Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT and Smart Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, adding that 5G-compatible devices have yet to be available in the market.
5G-Ready by the Year 2020
With its capability to deliver extremely high speeds coupled with low latency, 5G opens up exciting possibilities for the Internet of Things (IoT) applications for Filipinos, particularly in healthcare and smart cities.
Part of these efforts toward future-proofing the network is Smart’s ramped up the roll-out of Long Term Evolution (LTE), LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) and carrier aggregation technology across the country.
Last year, PLDT and Smart announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei Philippines “to shape the strategic and commercial development of the 5G ecosystem in the Philippines.”
In particular, the two parties were looking to identify and develop the areas of technological innovation needed to deliver 5G, which is expected to provide the foundation for the digitally connected society.
Earlier, Smart also achieved 5G speeds of 2.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) for the first time over a live network in a demo conducted at Nokia Manila Technology Center in Quezon City.
Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources for network transformation. For 2018, PLDT capex is expected to reach P58 billion, which includes allocations for the aggressive roll-out of its fiber broadband service, which also supports the stepped-up deployment of the mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.