THE difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic have demonstrated the critical importance that telecommunications infrastructure plays in keeping businesses, governments and societies connected and running. Despite all the global challenges, the industry showed resilience in recent years, as reflected by the sector’s increasing gross value-added contribution to the economy.
With a focus on the mobile market, the government is pushing for improvements in the industry’s performance, including plans to create a Common Tower Policy that will delist the telecom sector as a public utility. A 5G network was introduced at the beginning of 2020, and mobile network operators have started offering this technology to their customers.
Undoubtedly, fast access to the internet makes it possible for professionals to telecommute (work remotely), makes distance learning possible (including homeschooling), allows access to health care (telemedicine), and makes independent living possible for the aging or disabled workable.
How the telecommunication industry will continue to play a vital role as the country adopts new realities and continues with the normal routines will be the focus of the The Manila Times (TMT) online business forum. Titled “Connectivity resiliency for the country’s productivity,” it will be held on Thursday, June 9, 2022, from 10 a.m. to noon.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary for Digital Philippines Undersecretary Maria Victoria Castro will be the lead discussant. Castro, who previously served as assistant director general of the Information Management Office at the National Security Council (NSC), will provide information on where the country’s telecommunication industry is now.
Giving insights and prospects where this industry is headed in the next five years will be National Telecommunications Deputy Commissioner Ella Blanca Lopez and InfiniVAN Chief Technology Officer Alberto Espedido, a telecommunications executive with 30 years of experience in telecommunications planning, engineering, operations and business development (internet-related services).
“Telecommunications Forum is timely as the pandemic was a catalyst for the rapid growth of digitalization and e-commerce in the country. During the past two years, we learned to telecommute (work remotely), had distance learning (including homeschooling), and discovered telemedicine (online health care). Faster internet service became essential with fiber optics. Speakers from DICT, NTC and an internet service provider will give us updates on the state of telecoms in the country,” Blanca Mercado, The Manila Times president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
The forum will be simultaneously livestreamed on The Times Facebook page, YouTube channel and Dailymotion account with TMT editor Dafort Villaseran and Hungry Workhorse CEO and TMT business columnist Rey Lugtu as forum moderators.