PLDT’s $1M grant from US trade agency to support tech training

Telecoms and digital solutions provider PLDT is accelerating its efforts to transform its digital transport network through a new training program supported by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

This training program will boost PLDT’s transport network transformation project. This will enable PLDT to manage traffic congestion, minimize network outages, and launch new digital services faster.

“This investment will equip our people with the skills and knowledge needed to transform PLDT as an organization as we march toward the 5G-powered future,” said PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan. “The future of this company depends a lot on how we transform, not only our network but also our people.”

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The $1-million grant agreement with the USTDA will support the training, skills upgrade and capacity building of PLDT’s technical and managerial staff implementing the project.

Digitization initiatives

Courses that will be delivered under the training grant have been developed jointly by Cisco and PLDT and are designed to support PLDT’s transformation and digitization initiatives. These are geared toward PLDT management and technical staff.

The training program will be conducted by US technology company Cisco, PLDT’s partner in its Transport Network Transformation Program launched last year. Under the program, PLDT and Cisco are transforming PLDT’s IP transport infrastructure into a 5G-ready, fully automated, software-defined IP transport network.

The courses are aimed at supporting the implementation of PLDT-Cisco’s network transformation project, which will allow PLDT to seamlessly deliver customized digital experiences to customers. Under the partnership, PLDT and Cisco will deploy cutting-edge technology to design and build automated, highly reliable, software-defined next-generation infrastructure using PLDT’s existing fiber network.


“I can’t think of a better example of a strong partnership between the US government, USTDA, US company Cisco, and Philippine company PLDT. This I think really indicates the strength of our relations,” said US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim. “We’re happy that with the USTDA’s help, we’re playing a role in training the superbly talented Philippine labor force.”

“USTDA is committed to supporting the development of quality information and communications infrastructure and broadband capabilities in the Philippines,” said Thomas R. Hardy, acting director, USTDA’s. “Our support for this training program will build stronger ties between the US and Philippine telecommunications sectors.”

“Our agency’s mission is to help connect our overseas partners with US technologies and US companies. This is an exciting chance to help support these partnerships,” said Brandon Megorden, regional manager for Asia, USTDA.

Network transformation

PLDT’s network transformation project with Cisco simplifies the network, increases capacity and improves scalability while maintaining a consistent and superior customer experience.

This transformation toward Cisco’s Converged SDN Transport Network (CSDN-T) will allow PLDT to unlock the full potential of 5G. This also enables PLDT to concurrently support fixed and mobile services including consumer broadband, Enterprise, small and medium businesses, retail and wholesale business models, and real-time immersive experiences, among others.

This end-to-end IP and optical network is also enabled with Segment Routing (SR), which also provides the most cost-effective end-to-end network slicing and low latency capabilities which are 5G requirements.

Aside from this, PLDT and Cisco will also deploy technologies across PLDT’s network to make it more resilient 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.

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.