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Driving Open Networks and Digital Skills in the Philippines

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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Science and Technology’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) and the Asia Open RAN Academy (AORA) formalised their cooperation in promoting open networks and solutions.

To make sure that the present digital workforce’s capacities and skill set fit the current market and innovation expectations, the partnership aims to drive mutually beneficial initiatives towards workforce development.

Franz De Leon, the director of DOST-ASTI, has stated that the organisation is interested in pursuing joint activities with AORA and its stakeholders, including technical exchanges to test and deploy open network architectures; setting up labs, testbeds, and proofs-of-concept that promote and adopt open-source solutions and interoperability, such as Open RAN approaches and solutions.

He added that they also intended to collaborate on additional capacity-building initiatives, such as mentorship programmes, internships, and on-the-job training, in digital workforce development.

The MoU with DOST-ASTI is the first to be signed since AORA was incorporated with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 31, and it attests to the conviction of both DOST-ASTI and AORA in the value of collaboration in achieving the objectives of a digital economy, particularly in the areas of workforce development and research and development.

The Future of Connectivity with Open RAN and Open Networks will be the topic of a joint event hosted by DOST-ASTI and AORA that aims to bring together business experts, thinking leaders, and ICT and network specialists. It will also be used to commemorate AORA’s first anniversary and to showcase DOST-ASTI’s plans to build an Open Networks Lab.

The collaboration between DOST-ASTI and AORA demonstrates both companies’ dedication to advancing open networks and digital skills. It demonstrates their faith in the ability of collaboration to propel projects in workforce development, research, and development.

This collaboration paves the way for additional government, academic, professional, and business organisations to join in the future to develop the Philippine digital ecosystem.

Further, a strategic programme in the Philippines aims to equip people and organisations to embrace the digital era by fostering open networks and digital capabilities. It entails the promotion of open network architectures, including Open RAN methods, and the creation of a workforce with the necessary skills to make effective use of digital technology.

The Philippines’ digital transformation depends on its efforts to promote open networks and digital skills. The Philippines can position itself as a hub for innovation, competitiveness, and economic growth in the digital era by embracing open network architectures and providing the workforce with digital competencies.

AORA is an alliance of academic, governmental, and professional organisations, and business partners. It is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded project with a Philippine base, but an Indo-Pacific region focus.

Through the promotion, advocacy, and implementation of Open Radio Access Network (RAN) standards and solutions, which will increase cooperation, competition, and choice, AORA seeks to develop the workforce capacity necessary to advance an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet to enable a thriving digital economy.

To conduct applied research and development, DOST-ASTI uses testbed configurations, proofs-of-concept, benchmarking activities, prototype development, alternative/cheap, and open-source technology solutions, as well as the deployment of these products and solutions in a variety of industries, including advanced and high-speed networks, high-performance computing, cloud computing, wireless networks and technologies, and mobile technology, among others.

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