PLDT Enterprise, Smart Partner with Japan’s BBIX to Enhance Data Roaming

PLDT and BBIX Partner to Enhance Data Roaming

 • May 07, 2024

PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of PLDT Inc. and its wireless unit, Smart Communications Inc., have joined forces with Tokyo-based BBIX, Inc., an existing internet exchange peering service provider of the leading and most diversified telecommunications group in the country. The partnership will enhance subscribers' data roaming experience through faster data transfers and consistent service quality.

By joining BBIX’s Roaming Peering eXchange or RPX, PLDT Enterprise expects to increase both outbound and inbound data roaming traffic and expand the roaming footprint of Smart using BBIX’s interconnection points in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.

RPX is a roaming exchange that provides the shortest path between mobile network operators, thus extremely low latency in comparison to GPRS roaming exchange, or GRX, a hub for General Packet Radio Service for mobile communications service. This setup bypasses GRX and allows mobile network operators to directly send and receive traffic among themselves, speeding up data transfers and enhancing customer satisfaction.

"Aligned with PLDT Enterprise's innovation drive, our collaboration with BBIX revolutionizes data roaming for subscribers. Leveraging PLDT Enterprise's infrastructure, expect faster data transfers, reliable service, and potential cost savings," said Benedict Patrick Alcoseba, First Vice President for Enterprise Product Management at PLDT Enterprise. "At PLDT Enterprise, we are committed to the success of our clients. Through this partnership, we enrich subscriber experiences with seamless communication, wherever they roam."

Alcoseba expects improved customer experience will drive inbound and outbound traffic, which should lead to a bigger share of roaming revenue. Smart leads in 5G roaming in 70 countries through its partnership with 118 network operations around the world, he added.

Last May, UK-based mobile roaming expert Juniper Research projected global roaming data revenue this year to exceed USD10 billion from a forecast of USD8.6 billion in 2023.

PLDT upgraded its existing IX peering with BBIX in Hong Kong and Singapore to 100 Gigabit last December which paved the way for PLDT/SMART to join the RPX by establishing an initial capacity of 1 Gigabit for mobile data roaming service.

“We expect this technology to drive roaming traffic, both inbound and outbound, due to enhanced customer experience. Roaming subscribers can now watch videos, do video conferencing, or play online games even if they are on the go without worrying about lags or dropped connection,” said Alcoseba.

“By using RPX instead of GRX, mobile network operators could drastically reduce roaming cost since operators only pay a flat rate per ethernet port interface”, said Michikazu Charlie Fukuchi, Executive Vice President, Board Director and COO at BBIX, Inc.

RPX now has 29 clients, mostly Asian mobile network operators.

PLDT continues to expand its fiber network, with a combined local and international footprint exceeding 1.1 million kilometers. This expansive fiber network supports Smart’s wireless service that virtually covers the entire population in the Philippines.

The domestic and global network expansion of the PLDT Group’s roaming coverage dovetails with its drive to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of building resilient infrastructure, promote Earth-friendly industrialization, and promote innovation.

Mitch Locsin, First Vice President and Head of Enterprise and International Core Business at PLDT and Smart, stated "This partnership underscores our commitment to providing unparalleled connectivity solutions to our subscribers. By leveraging BBIX's extensive network and expertise, we are further enhancing our capabilities to deliver seamless data roaming experiences, empowering businesses and individuals alike to stay connected, anytime, anywhere."

This partnership with BBIX aligns with PLDT Enterprise and Smart's ongoing efforts to provide cutting-edge solutions that optimize efficiency, continuity, and connectivity while enhancing customer experiences in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

PLDT Enterprise
Onetrust Cookie Settings