PLDT leverages Cisco to boost existing fiber infrastructure into software-defined, 5G-ready IP transport network

April 16, 2019
Large-scale investment with Cisco is part of PLDT’s broader transport network transformation project, which will be implemented over the next three years.

The Philippines’ leading digital services provider PLDT (Manila) has partnered with global technology leader Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) to help transform its IP transport infrastructure into a fully automated software defined 5G-ready IP transport network. Under a new partnership, PLDT and Cisco will deploy the latter's most cutting-edge 5G technology "to design and build automated, highly reliable, highly scalable, software-defined next generation infrastructure utilizing PLDT’s existing fiber network to seamlessly deliver customized digital experiences to customers," as stated by the companies.

This large-scale investment with Cisco is part of PLDT’s broader transport network transformation project, which will be implemented over the next three years. “This investment will raise PLDT’s fiber network to the next level," said PLDT Chairman Manuel V Pangilinan. "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 (SDN), artificial intelligence and Internet of Things."

“At Cisco, we are committed to working with our customers to transform their infrastructure, so they can unlock growth opportunities as everything becomes connected," added Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco. "PLDT is at the forefront of this transformation and we are proud to partner together to deliver best in class services across the Philippines."

PLDT’s fiber network footprint of over 244,000 kilometres in the Philippines is the country’s most extensive fiber infrastructure. With four cable landing stations linking the country to major international gateways worldwide, PLDT’s fiber network also supports the company’s array of digital services for both its fixed and wireless customers. Under the new project, PLDT and Cisco say they 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,” said Joachim Horn, PLDT chief technology and information advisor. The automated architecture of the network will also enable 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 added.

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 scalability. It will also greatly enhance experiences for PLDT’s customers and lay a solid foundation for 5G rollout.

“Cisco and PLDT share a vision for building a modern infrastructure that redefines everyday experiences for businesses and consumers," said Miyuki Suzuki, President Asia Pacific, Japan and China at Cisco. Suzuki continued, "Our Customer Experience team understands that technology is just one part of the solution and that it is equally important to have the right design, architecture, deployment strategy and support systems in place to ensure the long-term success of a project of this scale. Our partnership with PLDT shows the breadth of Cisco’s capabilities in implementing a fully automated, software-driven network that can serve millions of subscribers, scale rapidly and be ready for 5G."

The network transformation project is also part of PLDT’s 5G efforts, as it is also seen to support the Internet of Things (IoT), 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,” PLDT's Horn said. “Through partnerships with global technology leaders like Cisco, we are continuously improving our network to ensure that PLDT remains to be the country’s technology enabler of choice,” added Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT chief revenue officer.

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

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