Ericsson has penned a deal with Smart Communications – a subsidiary of the Philippines’ largest telecoms company, PLDT – to introduce the ‘first’ 5G pilot network in the Philippines by the first half of next year.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), a 5G network will deployed in Luzon, the nation’s largest and most populous island.
“We are happy to partner with Smart to pioneer 5G in the Philippines,” said Martin Wiktorin, head of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei, Philippines and Pacific Islands. “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 realise new use cases and business models and capture new revenue opportunities by addressing industry digitalisation.”
Smart has been testing 5G since 2016, when it partnered with Nokia to achieve speeds of 2.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) using 100 MHz with latency of 1 millisecond over a ‘live’ network. PLDT and Smart have also signed a MoU with Huawei.
Back in June, Smart launched its 5G TechnoLab, the company’s facility for the research and development, standardisation, and testing of 5G.
“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,” said PLDT-Smart chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.
“Our partnership with Ericsson is part of our commitment to bring to the country the latest technologies to improve the experience of our customers, as well as boost the digital transformation of enterprises and industries.”