Philippine arts

Philippines’ first 5G cell sites fired up in Makati, Clark

Gelo Gonzales
Philippines’ first 5G cell sites fired up in Makati, Clark
Huawei serves as PLDT's 5G technology partner in Makati while Ericsson serves as the partner in Clark, Pampanga

MANILA, Philippines – PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart announced that they have fired up the Philippines’ first 5G cell sites, Wednesday, November 14. The cell sites are located in the commercial business district of Makati and the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. 

The cell sites are the first to be activated in the Philippines, and are compliant with the standards set forth by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a global collaboration among telecommunications standards associations. For the Makati cell site, Huawei serves as the technology partner, while Ericsson is PLDT’s conduit in Clark. (READ: Q&A: How 5G is shaping up in PH, according to PLDT’s Joachim Horn)

In a press statement, PLDT CEO Manny Pangilinan, said, “I am happy to announce that PLDT and Smart just fired up the first 5G cell sites in the country, putting the company alongside the first tier operators in the world to have deployed live 5G base stations.” 

5G is expected to be adopted first in the enterprise, with consumer adoption to follow later when 5G devices – expected to be expensive at first – become cheaper. Makati and Clark were specifically chosen for this reason. Locations such as Makati “host a dense population of businesses, people and advanced devices,” said PLDT’s chief revenue officer Ernesto Alberto.

Clark offers a lot of use cases, in which 5G and 5G applications can be tested in practice, with the company’s technology advisor Joachim Horn saying that they are looking to develop solutions in the field of “autonomous vehicles, connected fleets, and smart buildings and factories.” 

5G is a next-generation network technology that comes after LTE or 4G, expected to gain wider adoption by 2020. For smartphone makers, 5G represents a growth area, with several makers already announcing plans for 5G devices, expected to revitalize a declining smartphone market. –

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.