Asian Carriers Conference 2018 turns vision into action

“Eyes on 2020: Turning Vision into Action” is about recognizing how critical the next two years are for the telecommunications industry

Published: 11:28 AM September 11, 2018

Updated: 11:50 AM September 11, 2018

[Editor's note: This is a press release from the PLDT Group.]

Waze co-founder and serial startup entrepreneur Uri Levine was the keynote speaker of this year’s Asian Carriers Conference (ACC), held on September 4 to 7 at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort, Cebu, Philippines.

Levine founded Waze, the world's largest community-based driving traffic and navigation app with more than 250 million users around the globe, which was acquired by Google in 2013 for more than $1.1 billion.

Levine talked about how disruption and entrepreneurship enables revolutions in business and technology, drawing from the up and downs of his years in the startup industry. As a public speaker, he is well-known for his quote “Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.”

From L-R: Uri Levine, Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Waze; Pawoot “Pom” Pongvitayanu, Founder and CEO of, Thailand’s no. 1 e-commerce site; Danny Koik, Regional Business Development and Partnership Lead of Grab; Ling Wu, Founder and CEO of TBCASoft; Joachim Horn, Chief Technology and Integration Adviser of PLDT and Smart Communications; Katrina Luna-Abelarde, ACC 2018 Chairman and PLDT Global President; Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global; and Cathy Chang, host and broadcast journalist at ANC

Thai e-commerce pioneer Pawoot Pongvitayapanu joined Levine to deliver a keynote speech on the first day of the conference. He talked about the social commerce movement based on his experience in founding and running, Thailand’s first and leading e-commerce website.

Hosted by the PLDT Group, ACC 2018 gathered over 1,000 telecoms professionals from 200 companies operating in more than 60 countries to participate in its workshops and networking opportunities for global telco players. Delegates from global companies such as Huawei, Ciena, Wuhan Fiberhome, PCCW Global, Orange, Softbank, and SBTS also attended the conference this year.

According to ACC 2018 Conference Chair and PLDT Global President and CEO Katrina Luna-Abelarde, the ACC2018 theme “Eyes on 2020: Turning Vision into Action” is about recognizing how critical the next two years are for the telecommunications industry.

“The next couple of years are critical for the industry’s survival and growth. What we have right now is an elevated sense of urgency. We feel that the turn of the new decade will be a defining moment for the technology and infrastructure industry at large,” she said.

Luna-Abelarde added that telcos are keen on taking on challenges regarding cyber security, fintech, artificial intelligence, the “Internet of Things”, and building the foundation for smart cities.

“For the carrier and wholesale community, there are many opportunities to transform our conventional partnership principles into one that fits today’s environment—open to new technologies, partners and business models,” she said.

PLDT and Smart Chief Revenue Officer Eric Alberto shares how conferences like ACC are crucial given the fast-paced evolution of the business and technology landscapes.

Joining Eric R. Alberto – Chief Revenue Officer of PLDT and Smart and President of ePLDT (8th from left) are Keynote Speakers Uri Levine - Co-Founder of Waze (3rd from left) and Pom Pongvitayanu, Founder of, Thailand’s no. 1 e-commerce site (15th from left), senior management officers of PLDT and Smart, and executives from event sponsors and partners.

“Our current reality is defined by disruption and innovation, imposing a need for consumers and enterprises to adapt. All of us here in ACC 2018 share a resolve and clarity of vision to carry the industry through continuous Digital Transformation,” he said.

Now on its 14th year, the ACC has become one of the most anticipated telecommunications events in the Asian region. ACC over the years has invited various luminaries to speak before the telco community, such as author and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki in 2017. –