USTDA Helps Advance Smart’s 5G Deployment in the Philippines
Manila, Philippines—Today, the United States Agency for Trade and Development (USTDA) awarded a grant to Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) for training to advance Smart’s plan to expand 5G services to 96 % of the country’s population. USTDA presented this award to support Smart’s investment in Cisco Systems, Inc. equipment and services.
“This grant demonstrates USTDA’s commitment to supporting cutting-edge information and communications technology infrastructure in the Philippines, while promoting innovative solutions for American businesses,” said Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally (retired ), Acting Director of USTDA. “We are proud to partner with Smart and Cisco on this project, which will strengthen digital connectivity and deliver faster, better and more affordable digital services to the people of the Philippines. “
The USTDA training grant will help Smart, a subsidiary of the Philippines’ largest fully integrated telecommunications company PLDT Inc., to deliver better cloud-based products and services to its customers across the Philippines. This grant builds on previous USTDA assistance that advances PLDT and Smart’s efforts to modernize the company’s national fiber optic network and prepare the Philippines for the transition to 5G.
“We are delighted to witness the continued development of the Philippines’ digital infrastructure through projects like this one,” said Heather Variava, Acting Chargé d’affaires. “Many Filipinos will benefit from Smart’s expanded range of services, which will reach more unserved and underserved areas in the country. The United States continues to work with its partners to ensure secure and reliable digital connectivity for Filipinos. “
“We are grateful to USTDA for their assistance in training in this venture between Smart and Cisco. A well-trained technical team is essential to the success of our overall digital transformation, which will enable us to improve our customer experience, ”said Al S. Panlilio, President and CEO of PLDT and Smart Communications. “Our staff must be trained and prepared to fully utilize the power of these new transformative technologies. “