PLDT taps Cisco for 5G-ready IP transport network deployment

By Mary Jane  Tadili

Local operator PLDT has inked a deal with tech giant Cisco to help transform its IP transport infrastructure into a fully automated software-defined 5G-ready transport network.

PLDT chief Manuel V. Pangilinan (left) seals the deal with Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins, who flew in from the US just to attend the event

The transport network transformation project is expected to be implemented over the next three years.

PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the large-scale investment will raise PLDT’s fiber network to the next level and enable PLDT to move up to the next generation of digital technologies, such as 5G, soft-ware-defined networking (SDN), artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. It is also PLDT’s efforts to help the country gear up for the Industrial revolution 4.0.

Under the deal, PLDT and Cisco will deploy technologies across PLDT’s network to make it more efficient, resilient, scalable, easier to maintain and repair. It will also enhance experiences for PLDT’s customers and lay a solid foundation for 5G rollout.

Cisco’s customer experience team will play a leading role in the end-to-end design, build and deployment of the new infrastructure to extend the network’s reach, reliability, and scability.

The 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, stand alone 5G.

“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,” said Joachim Horn, PLDT chief technology and information advisor.”

“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 added.

As of February 2019, PLDT said its fiber network footprint is now over 255,000 kilometers and is the countrys’s most extensive fiber infrastructure.

The software-defined architecture will also enable PLDT to fortify customer services with dynamic and agile networking capabilities, as well as cybersecurity to safeguard customer data.

The automated architecture of the network will also enable PLDT to manage traffic congestion, minimize network outages, and launch new digital service faster.

“With a fully automated network, our enterprise customers can expect more tailor-fit digital services that meet their businesses’ specific needs today and the future,” said Juan Victor Hernandez, senior VP and head of enterprise for PLDT.

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