Smart has unveiled plans to launch enterprise-grade Internet of Things (IoT) services across the Philippines, following a strategic partnership with Nokia.
Terms of the alliance will see Smart, a wireless subsidiary of Metro Manila-based PLDT, leverage the vendor’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) managed service to deliver a “fully virtualised” end-to-end solution amid nationwide deployment plans.
The managed service is designed to help operators capture IoT market share without making sizeable infrastructure investments, backed by an “invest-as-you-grow” type business model.
“The Nokia WING IoT Platform solution bolsters our capability in solving our customers IoT-related requirements quickly and helping them get to market faster and with greater scale,” said Jovy Hernandez, senior vice president of PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups. “Nokia’s technology helps us to maintain PLDT’s leadership position and assist our customers in maximising the potential of IoT services.”
Central to such efforts will be Smart accessing WING’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform with the aim of eliminating the complexity associated with profitably connecting and managing new devices. This is in addition to enabling the business to offer advanced automation and real-time control features across IoT.
The end result will be the ability for enterprise customers to run more automated businesses through “harmonised” service level agreements, alongside providing real-time insights. Beyond connectivity, WING's vertical-as-a-service also offers opportunities for Smart to address enterprise customers with end-to-end IoT solutions.
“We are excited to work with Smart on this deal that will deliver superior experiences to their customers,” added Ankur Bhan, head of WING Business at Nokia. “IoT services are increasingly becoming a necessity as part of any operators’ digital transformation strategy. Nokia’s WING solution is at the forefront of enabling new IoT use cases through a range of connectivity options, including 5G.”
The partnership comes days after PLDT and Smart kick-started efforts to ramp up customer support services following a surge in demand for internet connectivity across the Philippines.
Triggered by Covid-19 and ongoing lockdown measures, the telecommunications provider has adjusted work processes to bolster network bandwidth levels, in addition to re-opening physical stores nationwide.
“As an integrated telco, we work hard to remain customer-focused across our various business segments - from mobile to fixed to enterprise,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, chief revenue officer of PLDT and CEO of Smart. “We proliferate not just our last mile capabilities, but also our backhaul network to ensure the best customer experience. And I am very happy to share that for the first time in a long time, all business segments are growing simultaneously."