Smart bags USTDA grant for 5G as DITO nears 5m subs target

Smart bags USTA grant for 5G as DITO nears 5m subs target

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to Smart Communications, the mobile unit of PLDT, to help the operator extend its 5G offering to 96% of the Philippines’ population.

TeleGeography reports that Smart plans to use the grant to invest further in equipment and services from Cisco Systems. The USTDA has previously provided financial support to Smart as it sought to modernise its fibre optic infrastructure to prepare for the advent of 5G in the Philippines.

“This grant demonstrates USTDA’s commitment to supporting cutting-edge information and communications technology infrastructure in the Philippines, while promoting innovative solutions from U.S. companies”, said Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally, USTDA’s Acting Director.

Meanwhile, rival operator DITO Telecommunity has confirmed that it is closing in on its end-2021 target of five million subscribers. A statement from founder Dennis Uy said: “In just a short span of time, DITO Telecommunity has been able to quickly roll out its network in order to offer fast, reliable and wide reaching telecommunications services to the Filipino consumer.”

The operator’s CTO Rodolfo Santiago has indicated that DITO is aiming for a market share of at least 30%, and will pursue a “more aggressive” strategy to achieve this following the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) in the Philippines.

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