PLDT's Pangilinan says 5G rollout 'difficult, expensive'

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2019 01:27 PM

MANILA -- Switching to 5G in the Philippines will "take a while" since rolling out the next-generation connectivity standard is "difficult and expensive, PLDT Inc president Manuel Pangilinan said.

PLDT will try to build 5G infrastructure on existing towers, Pangilinan said. The lack of 5G compatible devices is hampering the rollout, he said.

Towers for 5G need to be closer to one another as its frequency can cover up to 500 meters, compared to 4G or LTE which can cover 3 to 5 kilometers from the cell site, according to the NTC.

"Mahirap (Difficult) and expensive," Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Manila City Hall.

Communications towers can cost up to P8 million, the NTC said.

"Medyo magtatagal ng konti kasi kailangan ng individual yung handsets e," he said.

(It will take a while because individuals need handsets, too.)