How can telecom carriers ensure the "best customer experience" under the impacts of the pandemic on our way of life? At the Autonomous Driving Network FBB Session, which ended on October 20, Arvin Siena, VP and Head of Technology Strategy and Transformation Office at PLDT and Smart shared his experience.
PLDT is the Philippines' largest fully integrated telco company, has provided services for local people for 92 years and it provides converged services for consumers and enterprises, including fixed network, mobile, IDC, TV broadcast, and other ICT services. The global outbreak of the pandemic in recent years has affected all aspects of people's lives. From enterprise operation to people's daily life habits, the ever-changing requirements and increasing data volume bring new challenges and opportunities to telecom carriers. New transport networks become an important part for carriers to meet the changing requirements of users.
In the context of user requirements changing from "voice centric" to "data centric", the primary goal of PLDT is to ensure the "best customer experience". To achieve this goal, PLDT specifies its investment strategy – technology leadership – as the network and technologies transformation, and always considers whether new technologies are ready for 5G communication. In the process of applying new transport networks, it is important to guarantee that the networks are highly scalable, resilient, and low latency. And PLDT believes that most importantly, service developments cannot be restricted by the network capacity. Consequently, the concept "congestion free" emerges. the traffic change of the data network measured using legacy methods is not obviously different from that of the traditional voice network. During the busy hour from 21:00 to 22:00, users have a large amount of network requirements but no sharp increase of traffic is detected. It can be concluded that the user traffic may be suppressed by the network capacity. To achieve the goal of congestion-free networks, a new network design principle is put forward, that is, designed for peak throughput. Since 2019, PLDT has deployed Huawei iMaster NCE to monitor and analyze the transport network. The solution provide E2E transport network performance and correlation with RAN network which effectively helps PLDT in ensuring the transport is always congestion-free.
To meet user experience requirements, PLDT is gradually extending fiber deployment to remote areas. It deploys submarine cables so that islands are covered and finally replaces all copper lines with optical fibers. In addition, the network capacity of international segments also greatly affects user experience. PLDT is the best carrier in the Philippines in terms of the capacity improvement.
Based on the preceding key measures, PLDT keeps growing during the pandemic, increasing by 54% in FTTH services, by 110% in SDWAN, and by 165% in International traffic compared to 2019. Even during the worst period of the pandemic, it constantly provides the best connections and services for all sectors of society. And accordingly, it won the best in mobile experience in the Philippines in the OPENSIGNAL and TUTELA reports.
Arvin Siena believes that what PLDT has done lays a solid foundation for its future development and it will not stop moving forward. In the future, PLDT will continue to increase fiber and 5G coverage and put user experience in the first place as always, providing users with larger capacity, more flexible, and more intelligent network services.
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