Smart leads the way in transport network disaggregation in the Philippines

Smart achieved a breakthrough in transport network technology by successfully testing transport network disaggregation, a first in the Philippines.

The demo, which was conducted at the PLDT-Smart Technolab in Makati, showcased how transport network disaggregation can make the infrastructure more efficient, flexible, and scalable by using open, standardized, and interoperable hardware and software components from different vendors.

The transport network is the backbone of the telco infrastructure, which carries data, video, voice, and other communication signals from one point to another. Traditionally, this network relies on proprietary and costly hardware and software from a single vendor, which limits the flexibility, scalability, and upgradability of the network.

With transport network disaggregation, telco operators like PLDT and Smart can leverage innovations that allow them to quickly adapt to changing market conditions, deploy new services, and meet the growing demands of customers and businesses.

Eric Santiago, FVP and Head of Network at PLDT and Smart, said that the disaggregated network technology is a significant milestone in their end-to-end network transformation towards a fully Software Defined Network (SDN) and Cloudified network.

“It is a game-changing approach to network infrastructure, and its benefits will, in turn, allow PLDT and Smart to provide better, innovative and affordable services, and pave the way for future innovation and transformation of the transport network,” Santiago said.

Arvin L. Siena, VP and Head of Network Strategy and Transformation Office at PLDT and Smart, said that the virtualization of routing function and its disaggregation from the hardware platform is a positive step towards the overall transformation of the transport network architecture, which promises to bring more flexibility, agility and cost efficiency to their backbone infrastructure.

“The successful functionality and interoperability test conducted in our laboratory indicates that the solution is approaching the maturity stage,” Siena said.

He added that their digital transformation journey, which began several years ago, has focused on their goal to fully virtualize and containerize their end-to-end network: from Core, to Access, to Transport.

Transport network disaggregation also enables telco networks to be more flexible in selecting and integrating multiple software and hardware vendors, speeding up innovation and technology evolution, and eliminating the dependence on a single vendor. New hardware and software components can also be added or replaced without disrupting the entire network.

PLDT operates the country’s most extensive fiber infrastructure, which supports Smart’s mobile network. As of end-September 2023, PLDT expanded its total fiber footprint to over 1.1 million kilometers, consisting of over 0.2 million cable kilometers of international fiber and about 0.9 million cable kilometers of domestic fiber. This fiber infrastructure enables Smart to cover 97% of the population with 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G. is one of the most active tech sites in the Philippines. We enjoy sharing interesting and relevant stories about the latest trends in technology, developments in mobile phones and social media, and modern digital and geek culture.

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