The wireless arm of Pangilinan-led PLDT Inc. is making its Fifth Generation (5G) mobile network commercially available in the main business districts of Metro Manila starting today, July 30.
In a disclosure on Wednesday, PLDT said the initial phase of Smart Communications Inc.’s 5G mobile network — also called Smart 5G — covers the Makati Central Business District (CBD); the Bonifacio Global City CBD in Taguig City; Araneta City in Cubao, Quezon City; SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City; and the Mall of Asia Bay Area in Pasay City.
Smart 5G is also being deployed to North Avenue in Quezon City and Taft Avenue in Manila, as well as in the Ortigas CBD and Clark Green City in Pampanga province.
Subscribers may experience “super-fast data service” using Smart-certified handsets with 5G-activated subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, Smart said.
Consumers can expect the network’s gradual roll out to other parts of the Philippines, it added.
“The launch of Smart’s 5G service enables the Philippines to level up and join the ranks of countries utilizing the next generation of mobile technology. For our customers, it opens the door to an even higher level of customer experience in terms of enjoying video, playing esports and using more powerful digital services,” Alfredo Panlilio, PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart president and chief executive officer, was quoted as saying in the disclosure.
“As we roll out 5G in more areas of the country, this will complement the deployment of our 4G/LTE (long term evolution) network, which is already the fastest and most extensive in the country. To date, Smart 4G/LTE and 3G coverage serves 95 percent of the country’s population,” he added.
The disclosure comes after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened PLDT and its chief rival Globe Telecom Inc. to shut them down if their “poor” services don’t improve.
But Ramon Isberto, public affairs group head at PLDT and Smart Communications, said Smart’s latest move was “part of our step-by-step rollout plan for 5G.”
PLDT shares fell by P11 or 0.83 percent to close at P1,316 each on Wednesday.