After Duterte Warning to Telcos, Smart Announces Launch of 5G Mobile Phone Network

Days after President Rodrigo Duterte issued a warning to the country’s telecommunications companies to improve their consumer services, Smart Communications announced its 5G mobile phone network is going live as a commercial service starting Thursday, July 30. 

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, July 29, PLDT said its Smart unit’s Smart Signature, Infinity, and other postpaid subscribers using Smart-certified handsets with 5G-activated SIMs will be able to enjoy the super-fast data service of Smart 5G in key business districts of Metro Manila.

The initial phase of the commercial deployment covers the Makati Central Business District (CBD), Bonifacio Global City CBD, Araneta City in Quezon City, SM Megamall and Mall of Asia Bay Area. Smart’s 5G network is also being rolled out in key high-traffic areas such North Avenue in Quezon City and Taft Avenue in Manila, as well as in Ortigas CBD, and Clark Green City in Pampanga.

During his State of the Nation Address on Monday (July 27), President Duterte gave Smart and its rival Globe Telecom until December to improve their services.

"Kindly improve the services before December,” the President said. “I want to call Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Better have that line cleared.”

"If it's just a question of added capitalization or the infusion of money, go and look for it. Maghanap kayo because if you are not ready to improve, I might just as well close all of you and revert back to line telephone," he said.

“After many years of preparation and sustained investments, we’re very happy to say that Smart subscribers can now try out and enjoy the super-fast data service that Smart 5G can deliver,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart President and CEO.


“The launch of Smart’s 5G service enables the Philippines to level up and join the ranks of countries utilizing the next generation of mobile technology,” he added. “For our customers, it opens the door to an even higher level of customer experience in terms of enjoying video, playing esports and using more powerful digital services.”

Meanwhile, third telco Dito Telecommunity, which is chaired by Dennis Uy, said it is is still “on track” to roll out its services by March 2021.


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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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