Philippines operator PLDT, its mobile unit Smart Communications and Clark Development (CDC) have signed a MoU to launch the Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) as the country’s first Smart 5G City. Under the terms of the agreement, PLDT and Smart, together with technology partner Ericsson, will launch the first 5G cell site in the city in November.
In line with this program, PLDT and Smart are expanding LTE rollout in key areas in CFZ and plan to equip all of them with 5G facilities in the coming months.
Ericsson has also showcased possible use cases for 5G in an exhibition that featured Ericsson’s Robotic Arm, Balancing Robot, Connected Mangroves and Connected Fleet technologies.
Under its current network upgrade program, Smart is installing 5G-compatible radio equipment across its network, which now has over 2,000 5G-ready sites.
Earlier in August, Smart and Ericsson signed an MoU to deploy the country’s first 5G pilot network by the first half of 2019. Under the terms of this agreement, the 5G network will be first deployed in Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island where about a third of the population work and live.
The 3GPP compliant 5G Trial System that will be deployed at Smart includes Ericsson 5G RAN, core and transport solutions. The 5G pilot deployment will allow Smart to explore industry partnership engagements, collaborate with schools and universities, and further develop competence in 5G.