Philippines operator Smart wasted no time putting a new 5G lab to work, announcing it achieved data rates of more than 6.5Gb/s in a trial with Huawei.
The operator, the wireless subsidiary of PLDT, conducted the test a day after opening its 5G Technolab, a facility dedicated to R&D, standardisation and testing of 5G technologies and services.
Smart signed an MoU with Huawei in 2017 designed “to shape the strategic and commercial development of the 5G ecosystem in the Philippines”. The companies said they aim to identify and develop the areas of technological innovation needed to deliver 5G.
Ernesto Alberto, chief revenue officer at PLDT and Smart, said even though 5G technology is still in the early stages, “we are already investing in pilot testing our 5G system and paving the way towards having a 5G-ready network by 2020”.
SVP for network planning and engineering, Mario Tamayo, said as part of its efforts to future-proof its network Smart is ramping the rollout of LTE, LTE-Advanced and carrier aggregation technology across the country.
“We are working to transform our network to be able to address the needs of the future. To do this, we are investing not only in radio access, but also in upgrading the core and transport elements of our network,” he added.
Smart’s parent PLDT allocated $1.1 billion for capex in 2018 as part of $3.5 billion it earmarked in February to expand and upgrade its mobile and fixed networks over the next three years.