PLDT, parent of Filipino mobile operator Smart Communications, opened talks with equipment vendors with a view to deploying a fixed wireless access (FWA) 5G service in the fourth quarter, BusinessWorld reported.
Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT chairman and CEO, told reporters the company aimed to pin down equipment contracts in Q4, which could clear it for an initial launch. FWA is the goal due to a lack of 5G smartphones, the newspaper reported.
The executive said it is still considering using 5G gear from Huawei, the supplier of some of its 4G and fixed network equipment, despite it being placed on a US trade blacklist. PLDT is also talking with ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia and Cisco, BusinessWorld stated.
Huawei was involved in the activation of two 5G cells for Smart Communications in late 2018 to pilot services. The operator later announced a collaboration with Nokia covering trials of standalone 5G for the education sector.
Market leader Globe Telecom is targeting a 5G launch by mid-2020, its president and CEO Ernest Cu said in April.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back