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Globe to pilot 5G in June 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Maximum potential internet speeds may be seeing an increase this year as Globe is set to roll out next-generation 5G network technology this June, the company announced on Monday, May 6.

5G is expected to be 10 to 20 times faster than current long-term evolution (LTE) speeds. (READ: Smart launches 5G research facility, reports speed of 6.5Gbps in test)

"As we continue to invest in our LTE network, we are also excited with the growth opportunities of our 5G commercial pilot launch in June this year. Through this launch, we will be able to offer our customers a whole new ecosystem of devices to enhance the way they experience data to the home," said Globe president Ernest Cu.

"This is in line with our proven strategy of making our customers a priority, by providing them a superior digital and network experience, despite all the industry challenges that we face ahead," Cu finished.  

The launch is in line with earlier pronouncements from Globe targeting Q2 2019 availability. 

The Ayala-led telecommunications giant is currently testing the technology outside Metro Manila. 

Albert de Larrazabal, Globe’s chief commercial officer said the technology will be initially available to home subscribers. In earlier tests, the technology was able to hit speeds as fast as 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). He said the rollout of 5G will not yet include mobile devices.

1 Gbps is equivalent to 1000 megabits per second (Mbps). Theoretically, the most advanced versions of LTE or 4G can hit speeds of up to 300 Mbps, but real-world numbers are closer to a max of 42 Mbps.     

Larrazabal, however, only said that the pilot launch will be for key areas "outside Metro Manila," but did not specify which specific cities.

Globe executives also refused to disclose the price point or the extent of the actual commercial use.

Its rival, Smart, launched 5G in the Clark Freeport Zone in November 2018. (Q&A: How 5G is shaping up in PH, according to PLDT's Joachim Horn)

Smart also fired up the country’s first 5G sites in Makati and Clark, Pampanga, and some schools, the goal of which is to develop use cases for the new network technology. Smart parent company PLDT targets 2020 for its own commercial rollout of 5G.  – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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