PLDT & Smart, and Huawei Spearhead 5G Innovation in the Philippines

At PH Digicon 2023, PLDT, Smart, and Huawei discussed technology's vast potential in driving the country's digital evolution.

 • Apr 04, 2024

Huawei Chief Technology Officer of Enterprise in Asia Pacific Brandon Wu's shares his insights on driving digital evolution, as well as 5G's role in the Philippines' growing digital landscape.

Six years after starting a common path towards the development of a 5G ecosystem in the Philippines, the country’s largest integrated telecommunications group, PLDT, and its wireless arm, Smart, along with their expert partner, Huawei, continue to unlock the technology’s immense potential in fostering the country’s digital evolution, especially with the emergence of Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

5G networks, undoubtedly, offer ultrafast, seamless, and expansive mobile connectivity, ideal for an archipelago like the Philippines whose youthful population are among the most active in social media and in accessing the internet.

Brandon Wu, Chief Technology Officer of Enterprise in Asia Pacific for Huawei, said his company’s experience in its home market China, one of the countries in the world where 5G usage is most pervasive, showed “a massive number of industries” have benefitted from the 5G traction.

"For the first time, you can actually trust a reliable network from a public infrastructure. It unlocks tremendous potential for all these industries,” Wu told a panel discussion at the PH Digicon 2023 VISION: Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise, the largest B2B digital conference in the Philippines.

“However, there is one thing that [the] industry has to further look into. 5G2B today is mainly looked at on a connectivity perspective. It has not been deeply integrated into the enterprise business process,” he added.

Jojo Gendrano, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President and Head of Enterprise Business Group, shares Huawei’s observation, especially with the emergence of cutting-edge technology since PLDT and Smart sign a deal envisaged to develop a 5G ecosystem in the Philippines with Huawei in 2018.

"5G is definitely a driver for transformation,” said Gendrano. "What is important is not to find a problem for the solution but to really focus on the business needs and the intersection of finding a way to improve customer experience, to reduce cost that will potentially lead its way to 5G, and other wonderful applications enabled also by AI and by Cloud,” he added.

Various industry studies suggest that 5G will accelerate digitalization, create free jobs, and enable features such as Internet of Things, remote machine control, and augmented reality for enterprise—a development that could generate around USD140 billion for Southeast Asian economies by next year.

But for that to happen, Wu said the ecosystem must be improved and should work together.

“Certainly, a lot of initiatives have been put in place. From our perspective, there is definitely tremendous potential from both sides,” said Wu, who also leads Huawei’s Smart Campus Initiative.

“From the network connectivity provider's side, we can still bet on enterprise. And enterprise can further benefit from the connectivity of the next generation of infrastructures,” Wu shared during PH Digicon 2023.

PH Digicon 2023 VISION: Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise, held in October, and powered by Amdocs, Cisco, Huawei Technologies Phils. Inc., Nokia, Google Cloud, Samsung, ZTE Corporation, Avolution Inc., Fortinet, Soprano Design, CSG, Dell Technologies Philippines, Ericsson Telecommunications, Inc., and Maya Philippines, Inc., brought together industry leaders, government officials, and start-ups to showcase a bold vision of the Philippines' digital future--shaped by innovative solutions, cutting-edge technologies, and visionary leaders.

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