PLDT, Smart Communications, and Clark Development Corp. (CDC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) as the country’s first Smart 5G City.

Under the MoU, PLDT and Smart, together with technology partner Ericsson, will fire up the first 5G cell site in the city this month.

In line with this program, PLDT and Smart are ramping-up the roll-out of LTE in key areas in CFZ and equipping all of them with 5G facilities in the coming months.

Alongside the MoU signing, Ericsson also showcased possible use cases for 5G in an exhibit that featured Ericsson’s Robotic Arm, Balancing Robot, Connected Mangroves, and Connected Fleet technologies.

With its capability to deliver extremely high speeds coupled with low latency, 5G opens up exciting possibilities for Internet of Things (IoT) applications for Filipinos, as well as smart applications for the transport sector, traffic management, manufacturing, airport and mall operations, logistics and warehousing, retail, customer support, and smart homes, among others.

“Through this pilot deployment, we will be able to test 5G’s capabilities using a live network and develop solutions that will serve the future needs of industries and government, such as autonomous vehicles, connected fleets, and smart buildings and factories,” said PLDT and Smart Chief Revenue Officer Ernesto R. Alberto.

Armed with both fixed and wireless infrastructure powered by a fiber network, PLDT and Smart are positioned to deploy 5G in the country.

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.

Apart from ultra-high speeds, the key features of 5G include enhanced mobile broadband services, massive machine type communications, and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications.

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 MoU, 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 in 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.

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