Smart triples 5G sites to over 1,400

Smart Communications Inc. has tripled the number of its 5G sites nationwide to over 1,400, including Baguio and Cagayan de Oro, the telco announced Friday, (Feb. 26).

These include 5G sites recently fired up in Benguet, Misamis Oriental and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Already, Smart has deployed 5G sites in all of Metro Manila's cities and municipalities, as well as in the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Rizal, Cebu, Iloilo, Aklan, and Davao

"Just as we have invested in providing our customers with the best mobile data experience, we are ramping up our 5G rollout and continuing to expand our LTE--both of which are powered by our fiber network--to provide our subscribers an even better experience," according to PLDT and Smart Head of Technology Mario G. Tamayo.

Earlier this week, competitor Globe Telecom Inc. released figures of its nationwide 5G footprint, with 1,069 areas covered after its aggressive network builds and site upgrades.

As of January, 2021, Globe's 5G coverage is present in 848 locations in Metro Manila and Rizal and in 221 areas in Visayas and Mindanao.

In Visayas, its 5G service is now accessible in several areas in Negros Occidental, Cebu, Iloilo and in Aklan.

The technology is likewise available in some areas in Misamis Oriental and Davao del Sur.

In South Luzon, Globe's 5G is already present in selected locations in Laguna and Bulacan.

"As we expand our 5G network presence across the country, we are also bringing the possibilities of 5G, such as faster speeds and lower latency for streaming high-resolution videos and playing online mobile games, closer to more Filipinos," according to Tamayo.

"Through this, we are also opening the doors to more possibilities of 5G that we have yet to imagine," he added.

To enable their customers to maximize the 5G network, Smart has also rolled out specially designed Smart Signature 5G plans, which offer two times more data and come with a Data Rollover feature, which means all unused data allocation from the previous month will be carried over to the following month. 

Smart is also partnering with device manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, vivo, and realme to make 5G devices more accessible to its customers.

These initiatives form a large part of PLDT's sustained network investments, which totaled some Php286.3 billion from 2016 to 2020.

PLDT and Smart are prepared to invest between P88 billion and P 92 billion in capital expenditures in 2021.