PLDT chooses Clark as launch site for 5G
Telco giant PLDT Inc. has chosen the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga province for the launch of 5G, a mobile technology that promises faster internet speed and less lag that can be applied to a wide range of consumer and business industries.
PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart Communications announced on Monday the signing of a memorandum of understanding with state-run Clark Development Corp. that would pave the way for the transformation of Clark Freeport Zone into a so-called 5G City.
PLDT, along with technical partner Ericsson, said the first 5G cell site would be activated this month. The plan was to fire up at least 25 5G sites over six months across Clark, said Joachim Horn, chief technology and information adviser for PLDT and Smart.
Horn said the objective was to have 5G available across all applications, which span logistics, manufacturing, transportation as well as homes and eventually mobile handsets once the devices become available to consumers in the latter part of 2019.
He said business locators in Clark would likely be their first 5G customers. Other applications include healthcare, driverless cars and automated manufacturing.
“This will benefit not only Clark but the country as well by demonstrating that we are in step with the rest of the world in adopting advanced intelligent technologies,” PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
Last August, Smart and Ericsson signed an agreement to deploy the country’s first 5G pilot network by the first half of 2019. Smart has been testing 5G since 2016. It said it achieved speeds of 2.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) using 100 MHz with latency of just 1 millisecond over a “live” network.
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