DOST, PLDT-Smart eye partnership to boost innovation culture in Phl

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Telco giant PLDT Inc. (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ASTI) are eyeing a potential collaboration to further boost an innovation culture in the country.

The telco giant is looking at leveraging its PLDT-Smart Technolab facility and the PLDT-Smart Technology Experience Center where it has nurtured research and development activities on communications technologies and emerging technologies for a collaboration with the DOST-ASTI.

“We are happy to host DOST-ASTI at our Technolab, where we explore and test innovations and capabilities. We at Smart are always ready to partner and lend our expertise with Government and other stakeholders to boost innovation in the Philippines,” said Arvin L. Siena, VP and OIC for Network Strategy and Planning at Smart.

Representatives from the DOST-ASTI, led by its director Franz De Leon, visited the PLDT-Smart Technolab and toured PLDT-Smart’s Technology Experience Center, where they learned more about the company’s latest innovations and proofs of concept (POCs) such as Open RAN and digital twin, as well as tested use cases for extended reality, among others.

“We look forward to learning more about your innovations at your Technolab, and we are also excited to share what we are doing at DOST-ASTI so that we can find some synergies and points of collaboration,” De Leon said.

Lennart Olaivar, AVP and Head of the Technology Strategy and Transformation Office at Smart, also hopeful that a more robust innovation culture in the country would help more Filipino companies and propel the economy forward.

“Collaborating with partners like DOST-ASTI will boost our joint research and development for innovation efforts,” Olaivar said. “We are here to help you, and our laboratory is open for you, and we can do many things together.”

Underpinning PLDT and Smart’s innovation initiatives are the companies’ integrated fixed and wireless networks. PLDT operates the country’s most extensive fiber infrastructure. 

As of end-March 2023, PLDT had expanded its total fiber footprint to over 1.1 million kilometers, consisting of over 231,000 kilometers of international fiber and over 874,000 kilometers of domestic fiber. This fiber infrastructure also supports Smart’s 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G network, which covers 97 percent of the country’s population.

PLDT and Smart’s support for a more innovative culture in the Philippines are aligned with the PLDT Group’s endeavors to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

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