Despite the publicized efforts of telecommunications companies (telcos) to roll out services powered by superfast Fifth Generation (5G) technology in the Philippines, Fitch Ratings presented a bleak outlook for its initial adoption.
In a report on Tuesday night, the global debt watcher said 5G reach in the country remained “uncertain,” and expected its rollout “to be limited this year, considering the early stage of adoption and deployment, particularly in a predominantly prepaid market like the Philippines.”
Such adoption, Fitch Ratings said, may lie in the affordability and availability of devices, which should be 5G-ready.
“Prices of 5G customer-premises equipment would need to fall considerably for mass-market adoption to take place in emerging markets,” it added.
“The Philippine government has also not formally identified the 5G spectrum band for telcos,” Fitch Ratings noted.
The report comes after one of the country’s leading telcos, Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. recently introduced 5G-powered services, mainly to its home subscribers.
It made these services commercially available on Saturday in Buting village in Pasig City, offering speeds of up to 100 megabits per second and data capacity of up to 2 terabytes.
Globe aims to also offer these services in two dozen more areas, including Greenpark in Cainta town, Rizal province; Woodland Hills in Carmona town, Cavite province; and Carissa Homes 2A and 2B, Palmera Homes in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan province.
Another telco, PLDT Inc., is poised to introduce its own 5G services by early 2020, delaying its supposed fourth-quarter launch, as it is yet to identify its technology vendor.
Telco players Dito Telecommunity Corp. (formerly Mislatel Consortium) — selected by the government in November to challenge the dominance of the so-called PLDT-Globe duopoly — and NOW Telecom are also looking to launch their 5G services soon.