Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), the mobile services arm of PLDT Group, and Google Cloud have on Wednesday announced a collaboration to improve the accessibility of essential digital services for Filipinos, with Searce providing technical implementation support.
Under this collaboration, Smart will become one of the first communication services providers (CSPs) in the Asia Pacific region to adopt Telecom Subscriber Insights, Google Cloud’s AI-powered solution that ingests data from various sources, provides contextual insights on subscribers’ propensity to consume services, and presents personalized recommendations to their devices for activation, the duo said in a statement.
With the Philippines’ digital economy set to grow 20 percent year-on-year between now and 2025, the duo noted that mobile connectivity plays an increasingly central role in how Filipinos access essential services like food, transport, and the purchase of daily items.
It is noted that Smart will also use Telecom Subscriber Insights to design more inclusive mobile services for subscribers by identifying both patterns and gaps in connectivity.
With real-time insights from customer data, Smart could, for instance, help subscribers optimize their data consumption while streaming content by alerting the user to adjust the resolution of their video.
Subscribers could also be prompted to top up their prepaid plan on their device through integrations with local digital payments services, instead of having to locate a physical store to purchase a prepaid load.
“Our collaboration with Google Cloud to be the first communication services provider in Asia Pacific to adopt Telecom Subscriber Insights will empower us to better serve Filipino mobile users whenever and wherever they need us,
Meanwhile, PLDT Inc. Chief Transformation and Customer Officer Emmanuel C. Lorenzana said that the speed of digital change has created growing anxiety amongst Filipinos about running low on data in their exact moment of need—from booking a ride-hailing service on an app, to completing important financial transactions on the go.
“Google Cloud’s enterprise-grade AI solutions will allow us to give our subscribers simpler, quicker, and more affordable access to the data services most aligned to their evolving digital lifestyles, while guiding our efforts to boost mobile connectivity across the country,” he said.
According to the statement, Smart is looking to gain additional capabilities that enable subscribers to better interact with agents and chatbots, by integrating Google Cloud’s generative AI (gen AI) capabilities—such as Google’s first-party foundation models for summarizing text and maintaining an ongoing conversation—with Telecom Subscriber Insights.
By using Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform to access and tune snapshots of these models, ground their responses with its own private corpus, and integrate them into its services, Smart could allow its subscribers to interact with natural-sounding, virtual agents that offer more tailored and accessible insights into, and ways to optimize, their personal data consumption.
With Telecom Subscriber Insights, he said Smart can extract customer insights in real-time, while leveraging the product’s machine learning capabilities to inform digital sales opportunities based on customer readiness, price sensitivity, and lifetime value.
Google Cloud Philippines and Vietnam Country Manager Malis Selamat said that when deployed strategically by CSPs, artificial intelligence (AI) and gen AI can significantly improve inclusion and equity of digital access, by tapping on data that these providers already manage and store as part of their core operations.
“Smart’s use of Telecom Subscriber Insights demonstrates the potential for CSPs in Asia to support national digital transformation efforts with the use of AI in a secure-by-design and privacy-controlled environment, while empowering consumers to make more informed decisions about their data usage in a growing and fast-evolving digital world,” he said.
Searce Chief Revenue Officer Thomas Gourand said that at Searce, they are dedicated to empowering businesses with innovative solutions that drive digital transformation.
“Our collaboration with Smart and Google Cloud to implement Telecom Subscriber Insights is a prime example of how data intelligence and AI can elevate customer experiences and facilitate enhanced mobile connectivity,
“We look forward to making a lasting impact on the digital landscape of the Philippines through this partnership,” he added.