What are digital natives without data bandwidth? One major telco is using analytics and AI tools to keep them powered up.

With the Philippines’ digital economy set to grow 20% year-on-year between now and 2025, mobile connectivity is playing an increasingly central role in how Filipinos access essential services such as food, transport, and the purchase of daily items.

Smart Communications, the mobile services arm of PLDT Group, the country’s largest fully integrated telco company, has announced that it will be relying on a cloud AI solution that provides contextual insights on subscribers’ propensity to consume services, and then offer personalized recommendations for customer consideration.

By leveraging customer insights, Smart Communications expects to gain a richer perspective into how Filipinos interact with digital services, the pain points they face in everyday usage, and develop services that will equip Filipinos to understand, manage, and optimize their mobile data consumption in optimal ways.

Identifying patterns and gaps

The firm will also use AI to design more inclusive mobile services for subscribers — by identifying both patterns and gaps in connectivity. With real-time insights from customer data, the firm could, for instance, help subscribers optimize their data streaming activities and content consumption by alerting them 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.

Furthermore, the firm is looking to gain additional capabilities that enable subscribers to enjoy better interactions with agents and chatbots, by integrating generative AI (GenAI) capabilities to:

    • summarize text and maintaining an ongoing conversation
    • access and tune snapshots of large language models, ground their responses with its own private corpus, and integrate them into its services
    • allow subscribers to interact with natural-sounding, virtual agents that offer more tailored and accessible insights into, and ways to optimize, their personal data consumption

According to the firm’s Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Business-Individual, Alex O. Caeg: “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. This is a huge step toward our commitment to always put our customers first and provide them with the best mobile experience powered by our superior network.”

Said Malis Selamat, Country Manager (Philippines and Vietnam), Google Cloud: “When deployed strategically by CSPs, AI and GenAI 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. With the use of AI in a secure-by-design and privacy-controlled environment, consumers (can) make more- informed decisions about their data usage in a growing and fast-evolving digital world.”