PLDT bolsters, secures 5G highway with Cisco deal
PLDT Inc. has tapped United States tech giant Cisco Systems Inc. to modernize a key component of its network infrastructure to meet the expected “traffic explosion” for data services and heightened cybersecurity requirements in the coming years.
The companies on Thursday announced a partnership for the upgrade of PLDT’s IP transport infrastructure that would be built on top of its sprawling fiber optic network, which supports its fixed-line and mobile services.
The engagement with Cisco will focus on PLDT’s fiber network in Luzon. The telco giant is expected to separately announce a partnership with China’s Huawei for Visayas and Mindanao.
The event on Friday was led by Cisco chair and CEO Chuck Robbins and PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan, who called the transport infrastructure a neglected but critical aspect of their network.
“This investment will raise PLDT’s fiber network to the next level,” Pangilinan said of the partnership, which would help the company address the requirements of customers with the upcoming launch of 5G and as artificial intelligence and internet of things applications become more prevalent.
He declined to give the specific value of the Cisco deal but noted it was a significant amount.
Joachim Horn, PLDT chief technology and information advisor, added Cisco’s solutions would likewise bolster PLDT’s ability to deal with cyber threats.
“The software-defined network enables us at any point in time to introduce the newest cybersecurity features at the push of a button,” Horn said.
He cited other big advantages such as the ability to expand their scale as consumer demands increase.
“This project will bring us into the next decade of telecommunications,” Horn said. “We can carry 100 times more traffic, maybe more, as we continue to build out compared to what the network we have today can do.”
“The sky is the limit where traffic is concerned,” he added.
PLDT’s nationwide fiber optic network spanned some 255 kilometers as of February this year. The company has also tapped supplier Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia to test their 5G equipment ahead of the release of the final standards later this year.