5G on the way – but when?

5G on the way – but when?

5G news from Telkomsel Indonesia, PLDT in the Philippines and Tcell of Tajikistan indicates a clear desire to flag up a 5G offering in many Asian markets, although specific launch dates and service details are not always available.

Indonesia’s largest mobile service provider Telkomsel has announced that it has selected Ericsson’s NFV infrastructure (NFVI) core network technology for a major core network upgrade as it moves towards 5G deployment. Ericsson’s core network solutions will enable Telkomsel to improve speed, efficiency and agility for its current business and for future opportunities, say the partners.

Of course, with increasing radio access network (RAN) speeds and the growing need for low latency, service providers also face the need to evolve core networks to advanced and flexible architecture that includes distribution to the network edge; this too, one assumes, will be more effectively enabled by Telkomsel’s adoption of this technology – though when and on what scale are not yet clear.

Tajikistan’s Tcell, meanwhile, has announced that it is the first cellco in the country to receive a commercial 5G licence. Whether this will make it able, as it claims, to ‘launch the first 5G network in Central Asia’, is hard to say as launch dates were not included in the announcement.

By contrast, PLDT-Smart of the Philippines, is hopeful of a launch for commercial fixed and wireless 5G services for both business and residential sectors by the fourth quarter of this year.

PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart activated their first Huawei and Ericsson-supplied 5G cell sites in Makati City and Clark, Pampanga, in November last year. PLDT has also signed an agreement with Nokia for the deployment of 5G in schools across the Philippines.

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