PLDT eyes commercial launch of 5G services by Q4

MANILA — PLDT Inc. is eyeing the commercial launch of its fifth generation (5G) technology services for its residential and business customers by the fourth quarter of this year.

“Probably Enterprise and Home within the year. Wala pa namang gadgets; standards wala pa rin (There are still no mobile devices that are 5G-ready as well as standards). So, we might start on Home and Enterprise,” PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of its annual stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday.

“Hopefully by the fourth quarter we could rollout to Home for the fixed and wireless and Enterprise for fixed and wireless as well,” he added.

Pangilinan added that PLDT is still eyeing Huawei Technologies as one of its suppliers of 5G technology despite efforts by the United States to ban the sale of its products due to cybersecurity concerns.

“These are the suppliers of our 4G and some elements of our fixed networks. Of course, we raised the security issues with them. They have promised to cooperate,” said the PLDT chief.

The United States government, through its Commerce Department, added Huawei to its Entity List last May preventing the company in acquiring technology from American firms without government approval amid allegations that its network is being used for surveillance and other eavesdropping purposes by the Chinese government.

PLDT and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, has already activated its first 5G cell sites in Makati City and Clark, Pampanga last November through its partnership with technology providers Huawei and Ericsson. It has also signed an agreement last March with Nokia for the deployment of 5G in schools across the country.

For its part, Globe Telecom said that it intends to launch its 5G technology by June as it currently conducts trial runs in areas outside Metro Manila.   Aerol John Pateña / PNA –