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Smart activates 5G cell sites in Makati, Clark

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PLDT, Inc.’s wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. said it has fired up its first fifth generation (5G) cell sites located at the Makati Central Business District and Clark Freeport Zone on Wednesday.

The telco giant said in a statement the two 5G cell sites, which are the first to be activated in the Philippines, aim to pioneer the enablement of 5G solutions in Makati City and Clark, Pampanga.

“With 5G resources now in place, we are looking at developing 5G solutions and applications for central business district areas like Makati, which host a dense population of businesses, people and advanced devices,” PLDT-Smart Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Ernesto R. Alberto said.

5G technology promises an improved network connectivity that would deliver higher speeds and lower latency in mobile broadband services and massive machine communications.

PLDT and Smart worked with technology partner Huawei for the 5G cell site in Makati, and with Ericsson for the one in Clark.

The company’s chief technology and information advisor, Joachim Horn, said the firing up of the sites would allow it to test the next-generation network for various solutions for autonomous vehicles, connected fleets and smart buildings and factories, among others.

“I am happy to announce that PLDT and Smart just fired up the first 5G cell sites in the country, putting the company alongside the first tier operators in the world to have deployed live 5G base stations. This is part of our commitment to bring the most advanced technologies to the country,” PLDT-Smart chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in the statement.

The company boasts of its more than 221,000-kilometer fiber network in the country, which is necessary for the deployment of 5G.

It also said last week it will develop Clark Freeport Zone into a Smart 5G city, signing a memorandum of understanding with the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) for the project.

Rival network Globe Telecom, Inc. is targeting the rollout of 5G network by the second quarter of 2019 for Globe at Home subscribers.

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

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