PLDT and Smart Communications are collaborating with Huawei Technologies to research and develop a fifth generation wireless broadband technology (5G) that they plan to roll out in the Philippines by 2020.
Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, President, and CEO of PLDT and Smart, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Jacky Gao Kexin, CEO of Huawei Philippines, during his recent visit to the Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen, China.
Aside from developing 5G infrastructures, the companies will work together to set up a 5G innovation lab and create a showcase network.
"This collaboration with Huawei is an important part of PLDT and Smart's efforts to bring the most advanced technologies to the Philippines. It will enable us to best serve our customers and help boost the country's development in a world that is rapidly turning digital," said Atty. Ray C. Espinosa, Chief Corporate Services Officer at PLDT and Smart, in a press release.
To support this journey, Smart has been expanding its network infrastructure nationwide to improve the coverage and quality of its services, particularly the 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution). In addition, PLDT plans to upgrade its fixed access networks as part of the company's march toward 5G.
"Smart is focused on LTE, as it provides us the best platform to bring high-speed mobile internet throughout the country. LTE facilities, with strengthened transport links, can be quickly upgraded to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), and will be an integral part of our future 5G network," said Joachim Horn, Chief Technology and Information Advisor for PLDT and Smart.
This is not the first time PLDT-Smart worked with Huawei for a network project.
In late 2016, Smart and Huawei collaborated to combine five frequencies through Carrier Aggregation (CA), a capability of LTE-A, to achieve 1.4 Gbps (Gigabit per second) data speed. Smart also used the CA in April 2016 to deploy its LTE-A service.
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