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Smart commences nationwide rollout of promised 5G

/ 04:20 AM September 29, 2020

Telco giant PLDT Inc.’s Smart Communications is rolling out fifth generation (5G) mobile services in select areas nationwide—a boon for customers willing to shell out extra money for a 5G device.

PLDT said in a statement on Monday it would be launching commercial 5G in key cities in the Visayas and Mindanao. It would be the first in the country to do so.

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The company launched 5G in limited sites in Metro Manila earlier this year while main rival Globe Telecom launched a pilot 5G service in 2019.

While still an emerging technology, the rollout paves the way for the eventual use of 5G—which allows ultra fast internet speeds with minimal lag times—as the prevailing mobile standard.

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“The commercial launch of 5G underscores our commitment to bring the best digital technologies to our customers across the country,” Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart president and CEO and PLDT chief revenue officer, said in the statement.

Smart, which launched its 5G service commercially in July, said its 5G rollout would now include Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao.

These areas add to the live Smart 5G sites in Makati Central Business District (CBD), Bonifacio Global City CBD, Araneta City, Mall of Asia Bay Area, North Avenue in Quezon City, Taft Avenue in Manila, Ortigas CBD, Edsa, and New Clark City in Pampanga.

The company also introduced 5G in “strategic locations” in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and the cities of Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Taguig, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Parañaque, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Navotas, San Juan and Pasay.

PLDT customers would need 5G-enabled devices to use its 5G network.

Once limited to its postpaid subscribers, Smart said even prepaid users can now acquire Smart-certified 5G handsets. These are available at some of its stores in Metro Manila.

Smart said planning for 5G started five years ago and tests started in 2016.

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In 2018, it fired up the country’s first 5G base stations in Makati with Huawei and the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga with Ericsson.

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TAGS: 5G, PLDT Inc., Smart Communications
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