PLDT, Smart to host intl conference in Cebu, Philippines

May. 11, 2007

MANILA, Philippines, May 11, 2007 The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and its subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. are expecting more than 300 delegates from over 110 telecommunications carriers and entities from Asia, Europe and the Pacific Rim to attend the 3rd Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) in Cebu City from May 15 to 18, 2007.

PLDT Group Head for International and Carrier Business Victorico P. Vargas said the event, which will be hosted by PLDT and Smart, was conceived by the PLDT Group to create a venue for discussion of trends such as NGN (Next Generation Network) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and the challenges and opportunities in the fast-paced telecommunications industry.

These are in addition to basic bilateral commercial and technical discussions between the various telecom entities.

This year, we have expanded our guest list to include not only fixed and mobile carriers, but also roaming partners, VoIP and value-added service providers, submarine cable operators, vendors and suppliers, said Vargas.

Were proud to say that it is growing to become the largest telecommunications conference in the region, he added.

The ACC 2007 will be held at Shangri-Las Mactan Island Resort and Spa.

When ACC started in 2005 it was able to attract 150 delegates. Last year attendance grew to over 180 delegates. This year, registered delegates have reached over 300, and the number is expected to approach 350 by the time the conference commences on May 15.

Asian carriers as well as those from other continents and regions now have an alternative venue in Asia to discuss business and industry concerns. We made sure the topics for discussion and opportunities for dialogue would be very comprehensive. Support from the carrier and other telco players like suppliers and cable operators has been strong and well above expectations, said Vargas.

What PLDT and Smart hope to achieve in this conference is create a venue and environment for carriers and telecom players to strengthen existing relations, improve business, help resolve issues, as well as find new opportunities in a relaxed and hassle-free atmosphere, Vargas added.

In addition, PLDT and Smart aim to contribute to the promotion of the Philippines as a tourist destination by allowing foreign counterparts to immerse themselves in Philippine culture and enjoy Cebu and its surroundings.

In the works is a proposal to set up an organization for the conference to make it more potent, more cohesive and able to facilitate sharing and cooperation to help the Asian telecom industry advance much faster.

Aside from PLDT and Smart, major sponsors, speakers and exhibitors of the ACC include major telecom players such as France Telecom, Belgacom of Belgium, VSNL/Teleglobe of India and Canada, IDT of the UK, US Sprint, Verizon Business, Hong Kong Colo, NEC of Japan, Comptertel of Mexico, Mabuhay Satellite and Telarix.

Other countries to be represented at the conference include Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, India, Egypt, Oman, the UAE, South Africa, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Russia, the United States, and Canada, among others.

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