Smart and Globe are coming under increasing pressure from the Filipino government to be more proactive on 5G

Filipino telco Smart Communications has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with international tech giant Ericsson, to deploy the first 5G pilot network in the Philippines. Under the terms of the agreement, the pair will deploy a 5G test network in Luzon, the country’s biggest and most populous island, by early 2019.

“As 5G opens up more opportunities for new services and solutions to offer to our customers, we are investing in future-proofing our network and making sure that our network is ready for 5G,” said PLDT-Smart chairman and CEO, Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“Our partnership with Ericsson is part of our commitment to bring to the country the latest technologies to improve the experience of our customers, as well as boost the digital transformation of enterprises and industries,” he added.

As one half of the country’s incumbent telecoms duopoly, Smart is coming under increasing pressure from the Filipino government, who is desperate to launch a third telco in the country to boost competition and promote innovation. In response to this pressure, both Smart and Globe Telecom  

With a population of over 100 million, the Philippines represents a lucrative market for 5G and the MoU will stand Ericsson in good stead for future network development projects in the country.

“We are happy to partner with Smart to pioneer 5G in the Philippines. We believe first movers in 5G can reshape the market, grow market share and increase revenue streams. Combining improved capacity and ultra-low latency, 5G will help realise new use cases and business models and capture new revenue opportunities by addressing industry digitalisation,” said Martin Wiktorin, head of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei, Philippines and Pacific Islands.


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