By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter
PLDT, Inc. is reaching out again to multinational technology company Cisco Systems, Inc. for a partnership for the second stage of its network modernization, the telco’s top official said.
“We are actually looking at further transformation and modernization… both from the fixed and the wireless side, so I think our network people will be getting in touch with yours to look at the stage 2,” Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman, president and chief executive officer of PLDT, told Cisco’s Chuck Robbins at the Philippine Digital Convention on Wednesday.
Mr. Robbins, chairman and chief executive officer of Cisco, replied to Mr. Pangilinan: “Our team is ready and certainly excited about the opportunity… So whatever you need, we are there for you.”
PLDT and Cisco had signed last year a multimillion-dollar contract for the three-year implementation of the first phase of the telco’s digital transformation.
The partnership allows Cisco to provide PLDT with the technology to build automated, reliable and scalable infrastructure that will improve its existing fiber network and prepare it for the massive rollout of fifth generation (5G) network.
PLDT announced separately on Wednesday that its fiber infrastructure has reached 395,000 kilometers as of Sept. 30.
PLDT-Smart Senior Vice-President for Network Planning and Engineering Mario G. Tamayo said: “Despite pandemic conditions, PLDT has relentlessly continued to expand its fiber optic network.”
“Expansion works are ongoing to extend PLDT’s footprint by another 81,000 kilometers, 31,000 kilometers more in 2020 and 50,000 kilometers in 2021,” he added.
PLDT’s backbone network capacity is at 55 terabits per second as of Sept. 30, the company also said.
The telco is planning to increase the capacity by another 37 terabits per second.
“This capacity expansion aims to serve customers’ growing demand for data and deliver technologies like 5G, LTE, and fiber-to-the-home,” it said.
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.