Good evening to all our guests, especially to the officers and residents of Metro Manila's top villages. I am honored to I welcome you tonight as we mark a milestone with the FUSION of four of our most dynamic services in the field of communications.
It was early this year, if you will recall -- barely three weeks after all the hype for the Millennium celebrations -- that America Online and Time Warner merged in an unprecedented move, setting the pace for the phenomenon of convergence. We can see how the impact of globalization and technology on world economies has made it necessary for business units to reinvent themselves, to devise new ways of exacting improved efficiencies in operations.
Thus, companies, notably those involved in technology, are merging to gain the financial and technical muscle necessary to invest in and to develop the products and services for today's emerging economy. Technologies, too, are merging with each other - with boundaries blurring between software and hardware, carriage and content. All these that are happening are captured in a current buzzword: convergence.
Simply put, convergence refers to the coming together of technologies and systems used in what used to be separate industries, to create products and services that improve operations, as well as serve customers.
Early this year, we officially announced the functional merger of BayanTel and SkyCable to take full advantage of their joint carriage capabilities. The converged BayanTel and SkyCable created what we now refer to within the Lopez Group as our Integrated Broadband Services Group or IBS. A mandate of IBS is to make available content provided by ABS-CBN and our new media companies to corporate and consumer or retail clients.
From the point of view of the customer, a single wire into his home or office will soon provide not just entertainment on traditional cable television but also broadband access to the Internet and eventually, voice over Internet Protocol.
I congratulate my colleagues in the Integrated Broadband Services Group of the Lopez Group of Companies for tonight's launch of FUSION. You are keeping with the Lopez Group's tradition of blazing the trail in the innovative service of our various publics.
And I thank all of you, our guests, who have come to celebrate this special event with us. You are most welcome to enjoy the evening.