Fifth generation or 5G wireless technology will make its commercial debut in the Philippines by the middle of next year.
This was announced by Globe Telecom, which plans to launch the first-ever 5G service for homes with wireless speeds from 50 megabits per second (Mbps) to 100 Mbps.
The driver remains the insatiable demand for video streaming, said Globe CEO Ernest Cu.
“People are watching more and more video. As video traffic goes up, we have to deliver higher speeds, not only to one screen but multiple screens in a household,” Cu told reporters.
Globe said its 5G service will be available by the second quarter of 2019. This comes as the GSM Association plans to release the final standards for 5G next year.
By 2025, Asia Pacific will account for the largest share of 5G connections, GSMA had said.
Globe is rolling out 5G with support from its partners, chiefly China’s Huawei Technologies.
Among the main benefits of 5G are higher speed, lower latency and increased capacity. Cu said its applications include financial services, healthcare, and gaming.
“This will enable Globe to deploy fixed wireless broadband at a fiber speed,” Globe said in a statement. Specifically, 5G will allow Globe to rollout so-called Air Fiber technology.
Another advantage of deploying a network in this manner is the reduction delays caused by stifling regulations.
“The technology will also enable the company to go over the circuitous approval process of deploying a fiber optic cable, which involves multiple permits from local government units,” Globe noted.
Globe would still need to deal with LGUs, given the lack of cell site density that is crucial in the wireless business.
“As you push up speeds, you need even more sites,” Gil Genio, Globe Chief Technology and Information Officer, said during the same event.
Globe and its main rival PLDT Inc. presently have a combined 16,000 towers across the Philippines—far below the 70,000 sites in Vietnam or the 90,000 sites in Indonesia. /jpv