PLDT starts 5G rollout in early 2020, plans to spend ‘substantial amount’ for use cases

Published online by the Business Mirror, 
by Lorenz S. Marasigan – December 2, 2019

DIGITAL services provider PLDT Inc. will start rolling out its commercial 5G services in the earlier part of 2020, its chairman said on Saturday, and is planning to spend “a substantial amount” to develop it for different use cases.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, the company’s chairman, said his group has so far developed 5G products for use cases that require heavy data usage for both the consumer and enterprise segments.

“It will be commercially launched early next year,” he said. “For consumer, individual use cases include video and e-games, and for enterprise, particularly the office, we have to supply the customer premises equipment for businesses.”

Pangilinan explained that 5G take a substantial amount for PLDT’s capital expenditures (capex) for 2020. The company’s board is expected to approve the budget for next year on Tuesday.

“It won’t be a big, big part of the capex for next year. It will be a substantial amount, but not very substantial,” he said, adding that investments in 4G will still be higher than 5G. Saturday saw the telco titan forging a partnership with the Araneta Group to launch 5G technology in Araneta City, which will be transformed into the country’s first Smart 5G Lifestyle Hub.

PLDT has been developing its 5G products for the past two years, partnering with different vendors to test out the best fit for its network and the demands of its Filipino consumers. So far, it has tied up with different groups to create the Smart 5G Alliance.

5G is seen to enable machine-to-machine communication via mobile. Its use cases worldwide span in different industries, such as retail, transport, manufacturing, logistics and warehousing sectors, as well as intelligent solutions for customer support and smart homes, among others.

Pangilinan did not categorically disclose what type of 5G product his group will offer, be it wireless or fixed line. But wireless 5G seems to be beyond the immediate horizon, given that its build-out requires towers to be contiguous with a distance not father than 200 meters apart.

“We have gradually started our build-out for the 5G infrastructure,” Pangilinan said.

 

This article is originally published and written by the Malaya Business Insight which can be accessed online at https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/12/02/pldt-starts-5g-rollout-in-early-2020-plans-to-spend-substantial-amount-for-use-cases/

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