PLDT, Smart rewarded with international awards

PLDT and wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. have become top Filipino finalists in the World Communication Awards (WCA) 2022, which recognize excellence among the world’s leading telecommunications players.

Both PLDT and Smart received three nominations, including shortlisting for Operator of the Year, according to a statement. The release also said the group was the only Philippine telecom operator nominated in the category.

In 2021, PLDT and Smart continued to roll out their national network and by the end of this year, Smart’s mobile network had nearly 75,400 base stations, including 7,200 5G (fifth generation) base stations – the network Most extensive 5G in the Philippines.

This mobile network is backed by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, which is over 743,700 kilometers away.

Meanwhile, PLDT and Smart’s network restoration and emergency response in the aftermath of Typhoon “Odette” was nominated for the Crisis Response Award.

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Fully committed to its core value of malasakit (compassion), the group has demonstrated crisis leadership by ensuring network resilience and access to vital information and assistance to affected communities.

Efforts included the prepositioning of technical teams and network equipment, and the deployment of early warning notices, free calls, charging and Wi-Fi services, assistance with charging emergency, bill discounts and relief goods.

PLDT and Smart are also shortlisted in the social contribution category for Better Today, a multi-pronged, multi-stakeholder approach to promoting safety and well-being online.

The program is designed to meet the needs of PLDT and Smart customers nationwide, with technology solutions that detect, filter and block illicit online content; learning caravans that promote better digital habits; capacity-building programs focused on child protection and mental well-being; and group cybersecurity policies.

WCA 2022 saw its fiercest competition yet, with entries pouring in from all over the world. Created in 1999 by London-based publication Total Telecom, the WCA recognizes innovation and excellence based on a set of criteria that reflect the dynamic nature of the industry.

In 2021, PLDT and Smart won numerous citations, including a nomination for Best Operator in an Emerging Market. The group was also shortlisted for the Social Contribution Award category for their #NoLearnerLeftBehind omnibus education program; as part of the Platform Award, for Smart’s GigaLife application; and in the Beyond Connectivity Award category for its FreeBee mobile app.

Katrina Luna-Abelarde, first vice-president of PLDT, was also nominated in the Women in Telecoms category.

The winners will be announced on November 1, 2022 at a ceremony in London.

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