Manila Bulletin

PLDT-Smart, Huawei seal 5G part­ner­ship

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The Philip­pine Long Dis­tance Tele­phone Co. (PLDT), to­gether with its wire­less sub­sidiary, Smart Com­mu­ni­ca­tions (Smart), and tech­nol­ogy part­ner Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Philip­pines are jointly con­duct­ing re­search and devel­op­ment on 5G (fifth-gen­er­a­tion wire­less broad­band).

In a re­cent visit to the Huawei head­quar­ters in Shen­zhen, China, PLDT and Smart Chair­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO Manuel V. Pangili­nan signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) with Jacky Gao Kexin, CEO of Huawei Philip­pines.

Un­der the MOU, PLDT and Smart will work with Huawei to shape the strate­gic and com­mer­cial devel­op­ment of the 5G ecosys­tem in the Philip­pines.

First, they will iden­tify and de­velop ar­eas of tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion to de­liver 5G be­fore set­ting up a 5G in­no­va­tion lab and cre­at­ing a show­case net­work.

Right now, Smart is in the mid­dle of a multi-year, multi-mil­lion dol­lar na­tion­wide net­work ex­pan­sion to im­prove both cov­er­age and qual­ity of ser­vice, par­tic­u­larly its 4G LTE (Long-Term Evo­lu­tion) ser­vice.

A ma­jor leg of the net­work ex­pan­sion was re­cently com­pleted in Metro Davao, where Smart users are al­ready re­port­ing much im­proved mo­bile data ex­pe­ri­ence.

The roll­out is al­ready un­der­way in Metro Manila and in Metro Cebu to boost Smart’s voice, SMS, and mo­bile data ser­vices, spe­cially its in­door LTE cov­er­age, in these ur­ban cen­ters.

An upgrade of PLDT's fixed ac­cess net­works, part of the com­pany’s trans­for­ma­tion to­ward 5G-readi­ness, is also un­der­way.

Ini­tial tests done by Smart have found that the on­go­ing net­work roll­out in and around Metro Manila has be­gun to pay off, with tests in Rizal prov­ince show­ing LTE down­load speeds of up to 18 Mbps, while tests in se­lected in­door and out­door ar­eas in Cebu have also gen­er­ated down­load speeds in ex­cess of 20 Mbps.

Re­cent find­ings of J.P. Mor­gan Se­cu­ri­ties’ Asia Net­work Qual­ity Re­port for the last quar­ter of 2016 found that among lo­cal car­ri­ers, Smart posted the high­est over­all LTE down­load speeds at 9.17 Mbps.

The re­port, which cited crowd­sourced data gath­ered by wire­less cov­er­age re­search firm Open Sig­nal, also found Smart lead­ing in NCR for 3G, with down­load speeds of 2.85 Mbps.

Smart is in the mid­dle of a multi-year, multi-mil­lion dol­lar na­tion­wide net­work ex­pan­sion pro­gram to im­prove both cov­er­age and qual­ity of ser­vice, par­tic­u­larly its 4G LTE (Long-Term Evo­lu­tion) ser­vice. A ma­jor leg of this net­work ex­pan­sion was re­cently com­pleted in Metro Davao, where Smart users are al­ready re­port­ing much im­proved mo­bile data ex­pe­ri­ence. (EVA)

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