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Smart taps Ericsson for 5G roll out in 2019

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PLDT, Inc.’s wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. said its roll out of fifth generation (5G) technology is booked for the first half of 2019 as it ties up with Ericsson.

In a statement on Friday, Aug. 10, the telco company said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ericsson, which outlines that the 5G network will kick off its deployment in Luzon.

“The 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) compliant 5G Trial System that will be deployed in Smart includes Ericsson 5G RAN, Core and Transport solutions. The 5G pilot deployment will allow Smart to explore industry partnership engagements, collaborate with schools and universities, and further develop competence in 5G,” it said.

PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a press briefing on Thursday, Aug. 9, the company has conducted a pilot test with Ericsson for its 5G network on Wednesday.

In June, the Pangilinan-led company said it has opened a 5G Technolab, a dedicated facility for research and development, standardization and testing of the technology.

Smart has so far prepared more than 2,000 of its sites for compatibility with the 5G network.

Rival Globe Telecom, Inc. announced in June it will also be bringing the 5G technology to the country by second half of 2019. Partnering also with Huawei, its 5G network is expected to reach speeds from 50 megabits per second (Mbps) to 100 Mbps.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Denise A. Valdez