GLOBE Telecom Inc. is claiming to have first dibs at the 5G connection game in the Philippines, as it plans to launch home broadband services using the said technology by the second quarter of 2019.
Ernest L. Cu, company president, said the group will launch its 5G services via its home broadband brand, as the uses of the technology is expected to go beyond human connection.
5G is widely known as the “next wave” or wireless connection, and will be the main media to power smart products, and the so-called Internet of Things (IoT).
“We’re deploying it in home broadband first because we need to build up our network for mobile, and it has widely been accepted that home applications need higher speed,” Cu said.
The said technology, although boasting speeds ranging from the higher-megabit-per-second end to gigabits-per-second, requires the use of cell towers built contiguously.
In simpler terms, a telco cannot simply deploy 5G tech without cellular infrastructure close to each other at an approximate distance of 200 meters apart.
To deploy its first 5G product, launched Wednesday as Air Fiber, Globe partnered with Huawei Technologies, the same partner of Smart Communications Inc. for its own 5G development.
Air Fiber internet, which makes use of fixed -location wireless radios instead of fiber, could provide speeds ranging from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps,” Cu added.
Gil B. Genio, the company’s chief technology officer, said the technology will also enable the company to go over the “circuitous approval process of deploying a fiber-optic cable,” which involves multiple permits from local government units.
The right of process can sometimes take years to obtain, delaying fiber optic roll-out completion.
“There are about 200 sites equipped with 5G technology, and because it needs cell sites to be near to each other, Air Fiber will initially be rolled out in the National Capital Region and urban areas,” Genio said.
5G is expected to be commercially available in the globe by 2020, but foreign carriers have announced their intention to accelerate this, following the finalization of the specifications of the machines to be used for 5G.
Frequency band specifications are still on the works.
Smart has also tested its 5G technology through its newly-minted 5G Technolab.
In a media release Wednesday night, Smart claimed to have reached the 6.5-Gbps mark in terms of speed.
The Smart 5G Technolab is a facility that will focus on the research and development, standardization, and testing of 5G.
With its capability to deliver ultra-high speed broadband coupled with low latency, 5G opens up possibilities for IoT applications for Filipinos, particularly in healthcare and smart cities.