A Philippine telecommunications company fired up its first 5G base station in Clark, Pampanga claiming to be the “first in the Philippines and one of the first in the region”.
The base station will cater to the growing demand for connectivity in the enterprise sector, according to a recent report.
The first 5G cell site will be one of the 13 existing towers to be upgraded to be 5G-ready. The remaining 12 are set to be constructed and deployed at the premier investment city in Central Luzon.
PLDT Inc. has partnered with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority in order to make Clark its first “5G City”.
The initiative is part of the US$ 1.1 billion (PHP 58 billion) capital expenditures of the company for 2018 and will be completed in the next six months.
The telco is the first to deploy this technology in the country. The 5G tech ushers in a new era of intelligence services to power the smart cities of tomorrow.
The company will be deploying the tech for all use cases, but noted that initial implementation will be for enterprises, which may actually be the first users.
5G will not only provide faster connections with higher bandwidths, but will also automate different processes for different companies.
The company aims to target different sectors as its first customers, listing them as transport, health care, manufacturing, energy, hotels, residential and other partner locators.
This, therefore, makes Clark a viable choice for its 5G City initiative.
Mobile devices today are still not certified for 5G use, since the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has yet to release the full specifications, including spectrum of the new technology.
Thus, the Filipino telco partnered with Ericsson to develop 5G tech in the Philippines.
Through this pilot deployment, 5G capabilities can be tested using a live network, allowing them to develop solutions that will serve the future needs of industries and government.
This includes autonomous vehicles, connected fleets, and smart buildings and factories.
In making Clark the first 5G City in the Philippines, the government can expect to see more and more locators coming in, as reliable Internet connectivity is now the name of the game in the digital arena.
The zone is being turned into an even more attractive location for foreign investors.
After Clark, the company will be targeting densely populated cities for the next wave of its 5G deployment.
Smart, one of its subsidiary companies, has been testing 5G since 2016. It achieved speeds of 2.5 Gigabits per second using 100 MHz with latency of just 1 millisecond over a “live” network.
It was the first in the Philippines.
In June, the subsidiary launched its 5G Technolab, which is its flagship facility for the research and development as well as standardisation and testing of 5G.
The Technolab is designed to be a sustainable environment for innovative services.
Mobile use of 5G has yet to be developed. When this happens, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) plans to auction off the spectrum for 5G to telecom operators.