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Smart plans to launch 5G-ready network by 2020

Smart-5G-technolab

In the aim of transforming their network to be able to address the needs of the future, PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. has launched its 5G Technolab, a facility which will focus on the research and development, standardization, and testing of fifth generation wireless broadband technologies and services (5G).

With radically improved bandwidth, capacity, and reliability, 5G will push a thousand-fold increase in wireless mobile speed, making it viable even with the fastest fiber-optic wired networks. This will open up thrilling possibilities for Internet of Things (IoT) applications for Filipinos, primarily in healthcare.

“Our vision for 5G is to be able to provide services that are relevant for our customers. There is more to what 5G can do, which includes enhanced mobile broadband services, massive machine type communications and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering.

See also: SMART Promos

In line with this endeavor, Smart and Huawei Philippines have signed a memorandum of understanding last year, with the aim “to shape the strategic and commercial development of the 5G ecosystem in the Philippines.

In a testing demo held at the Nokia Manila Technology Center in Quezon City, the company has managed to achieve 5G-level speeds of up to 2.5Gbps.

Smart has also partnered with Ericsson in making the first Voice over LTE (VoLTE) mobile call last year. Unlike the current mode for calling through 2G or 3G networks, VoLTE uses improved LTE network to transmit voice calls.

Just this year, Smart and Huawei made the first Voice over Wifi (VoWifi). With VoWifi, customers can make voice and video calls wherever there is a WiFi connection with the use of the dialer of their WiFi calling-capable handsets.

For the past few years, parent company PLDT has gone a long way on levels of resources for network transformation. This 2018, the company committed a budget of over Php50 billion for their network upgrade.

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