No infra yet for 5G rollout, DICT chief says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 03 2019 10:29 PM

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MANILA - The lack of cell towers will slow down the rollout of 5G technology in the Philippines, according to the head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Acting DICT Sec. Eliseo Rio said that while Smart and Globe have already tested 5G speeds in select locations, the Philippines simply doesn't have enough cell sites to quickly deliver 5G. 

"Two to three years would be more realistic, basically because we lack the infrastructure," Rio said in an interview with ANC's Future Perfect Tech Shorts. 

Rio noted that up to now, a lot of provinces still don't have 4G or LTE services, and many areas are still limited to 2G or SMS technology. 

"We really need more towers to have good 5G environment," Rio added. 

Fifth generation mobile technology promises to accelerate cellular data transfer speeds from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps with very low latency. 

It is expected to enable the Internet of Things (IoT) where smart devices talk to each other. Self-driving cars are also seen to become a reality with 5G technology. 

The International Telecommunications Union is expected to come out with specifications for 5G connectivity this year, with 5G networks rolled out as early as next year.