PLDT adds Cisco to network of partners for 5G deployment
MANILA, Philippines — Telco giant PLDT Inc. is looking to sign more pilot deals with technology partners this year as part of its 5G efforts, with the company announcing yesterday a partnership with global technology company Cisco to help transform its IP transport infrastructure into a fully automated software defined 5G-ready IP transport network.
“We already have Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia (as partners). There might be one or two more this year,” PLDT chairman and chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
“These are pilot plans, pilot projects that we will launch this year so we can have idea of the vendor’s capability,” he said.
PLDT has been working with technology partners Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia in piloting 5G use cases and solutions.
For its new Cisco partnership, PLDT and the global technology firm will deploy cutting-edge technology to design and build automated, highly reliable, highly scalable, software-defined next generation infrastructure utilizing the telco giant’s existing fiber network to seamlessly deliver customized digital experiences to customers.
The large-scale investment with Cisco is part of PLDT’s broader transport network transformation project, which will be implemented over the next three years.
Pangilinan said the first phase of the project would entail multi-million dollars worth of investment.
“This investment will raise PLDT’s fiber network to the next level. Today we mark another major milestone in PLDT’s efforts to help the country gear up for the Industrial Revolution 4.0, enabling us to move up to the next generation of digital technologies, such as 5G, software-defined networking, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things,” Pangilinan said.
“At Cisco, we are committed to working with our customers to transform their infrastructure, so they can unlock growth opportunities as everything becomes connected. PLDT is at the forefront of this transformation and we are proud to partner together to deliver best in class services across the Philippines,” Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins said.
PLDT chief technology and information advisor Joachim Horn said the network transformation project is part of PLDT’s 5G efforts, as it is also seen to support the Internet of Things, as well as Smart City initiatives.
“This transformation program will not only increase the network’s capacity in anticipation for the upcoming mobile data traffic explosion, it will also make it more intelligent and ready for the deployment of real, standalone 5G,” Horn said.
Under the project, PLDT and Cisco will deploy technologies across PLDT’s network to make it more efficient, more resilient, more scalable, and easier to maintain and repair.
The software defined architecture will also enable PLDT to fortify customer services with highly dynamic and agile networking capabilities, as well as cybersecurity to safeguard customer data.
“We are building with Cisco one of the most modern transport networks in Asia by maximizing the capabilities of the fiber infrastructure that we have already put in place,” Horn said.
The automated architecture of the network is also seen enabling PLDT to manage traffic congestion, minimize network outages, and launch new digital services faster.
“With this network transformation program, we can empower enterprises and businesses and address their needs for speed, bandwidth and digital services quickly and seamlessly,” Horn said.