Mobile wireless systems had recently became world’s sought after with its mobility and ever-growing evolution of connectivity. With the 4G becoming a thing of the past, this fifth-generation mobile network emerges as the next best thing before its predecessors, offering data rates 10 to 100 times faster than current 4G networks and lightning speed of gigabits per second (Gb/s). The growing cellular traffic would decongest through the use of 5G that has higher frequencies, allowing an expanse capacity of data bandwidth for people to enjoy alongside its reduced latency between the devices it connects.
While the Philippines is still catching up to neighboring countries with faster connection speed, such as Vietnam, the predominant telecom in the Philippines had already up its 5G game, particularly, Globe, and then PLDT (Smart), with Dito Telecommunity seemingly on its way as the country’s third major telco player in which setting up more towers contribute network accessibility and capacitate the demands for connection speed. These should have been prompt in this very times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The present competing companies with 5G hardware carriers include: China’s Huawei and ZTE, Altiostar, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Datang Telecom/Fiberhome.
Alongside China Telecom being prominent in Dito Telecommunity, Philippines embraced China’s Huawei 5G among other 130 countries where they had also adopted the same carrier.
Which bring us to the matter of cybersecurity concerns, in which Philippines is still very much lacking. Internet security company Kaspersky noted that the Philippines is just about to invest in cybersecurity capabilities as its major priority, raising budget on IT security for the next three years.
While ongoing issues of cybersecurity threats in the Philippines has just begun to be addressed, growing concern over the China Telecom being a security threat in the US urged to warn the government to keep an eye on the Dito Telecommunity that is partly-owned by China Telecom, warning its risk to the Philippine sovereignty and national security for the same reason.
The fear of being intruded by China is not misplaced, as far as how many China-owned technology are standing in the Philippine soil, that being Dito Telecommunity taking up Huawei’s 5G hardware in its infrastructures as the leading signs of possible security threats identified, which Duterte’s Administration continues to ignore.