By Edd K. Usman
MACTAN, Cebu — Over 1,300 delegates from 60 countries across the globe have descended on this resort island as the 12th Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) 2016 kicked off on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to a festive start.
Local telco giant PLDT and its mobile subsidiaries Smart Communications and Sun Cellualr are again at the helm of this gathering of network operators in the region and around the world.
As the digital age is consumed by the term “disruption,” the event — being held on September 6 to 8 — is aptly themed “The Digital Revolution: Navigating through the Seas of Disruption.”
PLDT executive vice president Ernesto R. Alberto said in this welcome address that the gathering presents an “exciting time to discuss the latest trends and rumblings within our evolving industry.”
Alberto noted the ACC now bears “new substance and meaning” than it was before at the start. “They are the result of our continuing and collective endeavors to manage change and transformation over more than a decade,” said Alberto.
He recalled that telcos’ role then involved managing the long tail of the legacy business in voice. It now appears distant and archaic, he said.
“We have ventured well beyond our old comfort zones. Admittedly, and as in all cases of large-scale industrial shifts, it was a move that involved a certain measure of pain and trauma. But it was a move that was absolutely necessary,” he said.
Alberto pointed to an environment — as the ACC sails through a sea-change — that encourages new developments in the digital disciplines of social, mobile, analytics, and security (SMACS).
Experts from across the globe in the fields of telecommunications and technology will discuss developments related to disruptions as the ACC serves as a venue for bilateral meetings, workshops, exhibits, and networking events.
A highlight of the conference involves an all-female discussion on the second day to be moderated by Isabelle Paradis, founder and president of Hot Telecom, a global telecoms research, consulting and advisory company based in Montreal, Canada.
Shane Minogue, telco lead of the analyst firm IDC of Australia and New Zealand, delivered the keynote address in the first day’s plenary session, taking on the event’s theme.
Delegates also listened to Huawei senior consultant Yong Kim Sang; Ciena Asian and North Asia VP and GM Lionel Gan; Telecom Services Network CEO Kamal Patel; and Telekom Malaysia EVP Rozaimy Rahman.
PLDT International and Carrier business head Alejandro O. Caeg also cited the ACC’s uniqueness. “ACC?s great attendance through the years can be attributed to its unique combination of networking opportunities and business meetings, with fun and exciting social activities, as well as the excellent accommodations in Mactan Cebu?s finest hotels,” he said.