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Tag: Smart Communications

Smart Infocast to boost disaster preparedness of Dumanjug

Disaster preparedness efforts of Dumanjug in Cebu will benefit from the SMS advisory platform of Smart Communications Inc., the wireless subsidiary of PLDT. Infocast, a web-based program developed by Smart,…

Disaster preparedness efforts of Dumanjug in Cebu will benefit from the SMS advisory platform of Smart Communications Inc., the wireless subsidiary of PLDT.

Infocast, a web-based program developed by Smart, will enable the Dumanjug local government unit to send news broadcasts, weather bulletins, and other critical information to residents via text messages.

The program allows the sending of free text broadcasts and enables registered subscribers to connect with other Infocast members through a common, unique access code, making it an effective emergency communications solution. Crucial information can be sent to all Infocast subscribers, including the municipality and barangay’s disaster risk reduction and management teams.

SMART Infocast Dumanjug

IN DUMANJUG. Members of the local government and disaster risk reduction and management office hold a mock SIM unit during the turnover of Smart Infocast in Dumanjug, Cebu. Joining the ceremony are Smart representatives led by Public Affairs Head for Visayas and Mindanao Atty. Maria Jane Paredes (5th from left).

Enhancing communications

The system has boosted the communication efforts of its many users, which include LGUs, government agencies, and other organizations, according to Smart Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head Maria Jane Paredes.

“Through Smart Infocast, we hope to be instrumental in enhancing both the communication and disaster preparedness efforts of Dumanjug,” said Paredes, who attended the turnover ceremony together with representatives from the municipal office, the disaster risk reduction and management office, and Smart.

DRRM officer Richel Canete said the program would serve Dumanjuganos well. “This is a great help for the Dumanjuganos, especially in the office of the LDRRMO, in broadcasting weather forecast and other forms of disasters and calamities,” he said.

Serve community better

“It is a great tool for our information, communication, and education dissemination. With this partnership, we can serve the community better,” Canete added.

Under its #SafePH advocacy, Smart promotes the use of technology to help mitigate disaster risk in communities. The company has developed other preparedness programs and solutions, such as the Emergency Cell Broadcast System; the Batingaw emergency app; and the TNT Tropang Ready youth readiness caravans, among other projects, in its efforts to reduce vulnerabilities.

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Smart mobile data speeds take lead in PH: JP Morgan

‘Significant momentum’ seen for Smart LTE, 3G speeds, according to JP Morgan PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications posted the highest average download speeds for both 3G and LTE, amid steadily…

‘Significant momentum’ seen for Smart LTE, 3G speeds, according to JP Morgan

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications posted the highest average download speeds for both 3G and LTE, amid steadily improving scores through the months, the latest JP Morgan study showed.

JP Morgan’s Asia Network Quality study, which cited crowd-sourced data gathered by wireless coverage research firm OpenSignal, showed Smart LTE service leading nationwide in terms of speed, with average download speeds of 11.64 Mbps on the country level.

The May 2017 report also showed Smart leading across areas in terms of LTE service, with average download speeds of 12.52 Mbps in Metro Manila, 11.96 Mbps in the Visayas and 9.44 Mbps in South Luzon.

Significant momentum

“PLDT’s Smart has significant momentum across all circles measured. This likely implies a higher likelihood of market share gains going forward, with potentially better pricing power,” said JP Morgan in its study, which covers the months of February to April.

Smart also led in terms of 3G speeds nationwide, posting 2.29 Mbps average download speeds on a country level. Across areas, average download speeds on Smart’s 3G service were at 3.41 Mbps in Metro Manila, 1.74 Mbps in the Visayas, and 1.82 Mbps in South Luzon.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, but these test results show that our network improvement program is making progress. They are a testament to Smart’s commitment to continuously contribute to improving overall speeds in the country,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering.

Re-equipping cell sites

Smart is re-equipping its cell sites to use low-frequency bands such as 700 MHz and 850 MHz to provide better indoor coverage. It is also deploying high-frequency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to increase the cell sites’ capacity to handle more calls, texts, and ever-increasing mobile data traffic.

PLDT and Smart have committed to make LTE progressively available to 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities by the end of 2018.

“We have ongoing network improvements in Metro Manila, and we look forward to providing our subscribers there with better indoor LTE and 3G data signal, as well as better indoor 3G and 2G voice signal once these activities are done,” he said.

“With these improvements, our subscribers can live their digital lifestyles to the fullest, using a combination of LTE-ready devices, Smart LTE SIMs and Smart’s newest and fastest network, and be there like never before,” Tamayo added.

“We are asking for people’s patience and understanding as we are upgrading our network facilities. We assure you that we are taking steps to minimize the impact of these activities on our subscribers. In the end, our commitment to all our subscribers is that they will enjoy progressively better mobile data services in the next few months, particularly for those using LTE devices,” he said.

Average LTE speeds

Recent internal tests have shown improvements in speed in areas involved in the ongoing network rollout. Average LTE download speeds in northern Metro Manila, for example, are at 22.2 Mbps, while speeds are at 14.5 Mbps on average using Smart’s LTE service in southern Metro Manila. In Cebu, on the other hand, average download speeds on Smart’s LTE service are at 20.7 Mbps.

For these network improvement efforts, Smart was also recently named Digital Service Provider of the Year at the Asia Communication Awards, which recognizes outstanding performance by Asian carriers, multimedia content providers, vendors, and other communication service providers.

This comprehensive network modernization and expansion program is at the core of the PLDT group’s digital pivot. Smart’s network rollout took a big bulk of PLDT’s ramped-up capital expenditure program of P42.8 billion for 2016, which included the utilization of the new frequencies freed up with the acquisition of San Miguel Corporation’s telco assets. PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan has announced a total capital expenditure of P46 billion this year. (Press Release)

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Smart connects Filipinos worldwide through partnership with Orange

PLDT and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc. now make international calls more accessible to overseas Filipinos who want to get in touch with their families in the Philippines thanks…

PLDT and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc. now make international calls more accessible to overseas Filipinos who want to get in touch with their families in the Philippines thanks to a partnership entered with French telecommunications giant Orange.

Through Libon, an app developed by Orange, overseas Filipinos can use their smartphones to make high-quality phone calls to their loved ones on their Smart and Sun mobile numbers or through their PLDT landlines, at affordable rates.

This new service is expected to benefit more than 10 million Filipinos abroad, most of whom are in the US and in Middle Eastern countries.

“This partnership is a testament to our commitment of providing Filipinos overseas with more solutions to connect to the country’s largest subscriber base. With this, they can be assured of quality voice connections, which allow them to constantly communicate with their loved ones on Smart, Sun, TNT and PLDT with Libon packages starting at USD1.99,” said Kat Luna-Abelarde, Head of the International & Carrier Business.

From left: Julien Hodara (SVP – Strategy and International Business, Libon – Orange), Katrina L. Abelarde (FVP and Group Head – International and Carrier Business), Pierre-Louis De Guillebon (Managing Director – Orange International Carriers) and Evarcito Z. Ocampo (General Manager – PLDT US)

“We assure our customers that they will be able to call their families back here in the Philippines with the best quality at the best price,” said Julien Hodara, Project Director for Strategy and International Business at Orange.

Under the PLDT, Smart and Sun partnership with the Libon App, the users can choose from four special packages: the $1.99 package which gives 30 minutes of calls to PLDT, Smart and Sun; the $4.99 package with 120 minutes; the $9.99 package with 300 minutes; and the 14.99 package with 600 minutes.

“We continue to look for the best ways to serve our fixed and mobile subscribers, both here and abroad,” said Eric R. Alberto, PLDT Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.  “As the market evolves so does the PLDT Group, we are able to offer our subscribers the best of both worlds – the affordability of OTT voice services using smart devices, and the unrivaled voice quality and reach of our nationwidest fixed and wireless networks.” (Press release)

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Smart deploys digital tech to improve delivery of public health services

Smart Communications is harnessing technology to help improve the productivity and efficiency of healthcare providers assigned in rural health units (RHUs). Smart has been actively deploying its electronic medical record…

Smart Communications is harnessing technology to help improve the productivity and efficiency of healthcare providers assigned in rural health units (RHUs).

Smart has been actively deploying its electronic medical record platform named SHINE OS+ or the Secured Health Innovation Network Exchange (Open Source) in RHUs mostly in the Visayas where many Filipinos don’t have access to quality healthcare.

Raise productivity, efficiency

The digitization of patient records using SHINE has helped raise the productivity and efficiency of 35 local health facilities since RHU personnel spend less time looking for the records of patients coming in for a consult. This also makes it easier for the RHU to refer patients seeking more intensive treatment to tertiary hospitals elsewhere in the province.

Since 2015, Smart’s SHINE OS+ has been able to digitize close to 177,700 patient records from 25 RHUs covering 23 municipalities in Cebu; four RHUs from Iloilo; three from Rizal in Metro Manila; and one each for Bohol, Kalibo, and Masbate.

SHINE OS+ Samboan

SHINE TRAINING. Members of the Samboan rural health units undergo a training on how to use the electronic medical record platform SHINE OS+.

With the validation of SHINE OS+ by the Philippine Health Information Exchange, patient records in the 35 RHUs will now be automatically transmitted to the eRecords of the Philippine Health Corp. or PhilHealth. This allows for faster processing of incentives for RHU personnel in exchange for services rendered as provided for by the Primary Care Benefit Package of Philhealth. Once claims are released, the municipal health officer can utilize the funds for RHU enhancement, while the remaining amount will be shared among the health workers as extra payment for services rendered.

Prompt, efficient delivery of healthcare

“We have here a situation where everyone is happy because of SHINE OS+–the patients for prompt and efficient delivery of healthcare services; the government for the improved delivery of healthcare; PhilHealth for the digitization of patient records; and local health personnel for additional income earned from rendering services to the patients,” said Atty. Maria C. Jane Paredes, head of Public Affairs, VisMin, at Smart.

“Smart enables the provision of quality healthcare to more Filipinos, particularly those in underserved areas. We have been working with like-minded institutions like Ateneo to make technology work for development, in this case, making a responsive and quality healthcare a reality for more Filipinos,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart.

The Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center, which developed the SHINE OS+ also developed SHINE OS+ Mobile to make the platform and its functionalities accessible to health professionals anytime, anywhere; and MySHINE, which was designed as a companion app for patients whose healthcare records are stored in the network.

SHINE OS+ runs on an open source platform, allowing developers to design modules and plugins to customize it according to the needs of beneficiary communities. (Press release)

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Smart posts 1.4 Gbps data speeds using LTE-Advanced

Working with strategy and technology partner Huawei, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications (Smart) achieved test data speeds of 1.4 Gigabit per second (Gbps) using the cutting-edge data capabilities of LTE-Advanced…

Working with strategy and technology partner Huawei, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications (Smart) achieved test data speeds of 1.4 Gigabit per second (Gbps) using the cutting-edge data capabilities of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A).

In a series of laboratory tests done this month, Smart successfully combined five frequencies or “component carriers” using Carrier Aggregation, to consistently achieve data speeds in excess of one gibabit per second. Smart joins a handful of leading operators actively testing ultra-high speed wireless data capacity in anticipation of demand for gigabit-level speeds.

Carrier aggregation refers to the capability of LTE-A to combine two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and much faster data speeds to mobile users.

Anticipate increasing demands

“Through these tests, we have demonstrated that we are constantly looking ahead to anticipate the ever increasing demands of mobile broadband customers,” said Joachim Horn, PLDT and Smart chief technology and information advisor.

“It will take time for carrier aggregation on five frequencies to be deployed, largely because capable handsets are not yet commercially available. But the excellent results of these tests have encouraged us to roll out LTE-A using two or three component carriers which can already be utilized by several handset models in the market,” Horn said.

LTE-A capable handsets include Samsung Galaxy S7, iPhone 6s and 7, and Huawei P9.

Smart LTE carrier aggregation

HIGH-SPEED. Huawei product manager Daniel Peng (right) points out to Smart executives Mario Tamayo (standing, left) and Ramon Isberto the consistent, gigabit-speeds achieved by the tests using carrier aggregation. (Smart Public Affairs)

“LTE-A is the sharp edge of our efforts to bring high-speed mobile internet throughout the country through our LTE deployment program. LTE facilities, with strengthened transport links, can be quickly upgraded to LTE-A,” Horn said.

Smart’s efforts to boost its mobile internet capacity are complemented by PLDT’S ongoing deployment of fiber and high-speed DSL fixed line technologies which are also capable of delivering one-gigabit speeds.

Live network in Boracay

Last April, Smart fired up the country’s first LTE-A base stations in the resort island of Boracay. Combining three component carriers, where Smart achieved peak speeds of 250 Mbps on a single-user basis in a live network.

Today, Smart’s network on the island involves a multi-band LTE setup combining the low-band 850 MHz frequency and the high bands 1800, 2100, and 2300 MHz frequencies. This delivers average speeds of more than 100 Mbps to users with LTE-A capable devices.

LTE-A base stations will soon be activated in major urban areas such as Metro Davao, Metro Cebu, and Metro Manila. This is part of Smart’s three-year plan focused on expanding LTE coverage, to bring high-speed internet service to 95% of the country.

Accelerating LTE deployment

“We are accelerating our LTE deployment because this provides us the platform to deliver faster, more reliable, and affordable internet services throughout the country,” added Horn.

In the three-year network roll-out plan that parent-company PLDT submitted to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) last July, Smart said it is focused on rapidly deploying LTE, to make it available to users in 1,551 cities and municipalities across the country by end-2018.

This new roll-out plan includes the use for LTE of the 700 MHz frequency band that Smart obtained access to under a co-use arrangement as a result of the acquisition of the telecoms business of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) by PLDT and Globe Telecom last May.

In addition, Smart is also using the low-band 850 MHz frequency to expand its LTE coverage. Lowband frequencies like the 700 and 850 MHz have longer range and better indoor penetration. These enable Smart subscribers with compatible phones to have strong and stable internet connectivity in more areas, even when indoors. (Press Release)

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Do you want to build Android apps? Learn how through TESDA-Smart online course

Aspiring developers can now learn how to build Android mobile applications at no cost, via an online course available on the website of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority…

Aspiring developers can now learn how to build Android mobile applications at no cost, via an online course available on the website of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The course, developed by mobile leader Smart Communications, can be found on e-tesda.gov.ph.

Enrolling is fast and simple. Users only need to create an account on the website, then type the code SWAD in the search bar. This will lead them to the course titled Smart Android Mobile Apps Development for Beginners.

SMART Tesda Android course

VIDEO TUTORIAL. Smart’s Ron Ramos discusses how to set up the Android development environment in one of the many video modules that form part of Smart’s online course on building Android apps in the TESDA website.

Video modules

The course is comprised of 11 video modules, each running for 10 to 24 minutes. The lectures are delivered by a member of Smart’s IT team.

Users can learn at their own pace. They can replay videos, and even pause a video and come back to it at a more convenient time.

Nearly a thousand people have enrolled in the course, some of whom have given positive feedback.

Improve IT education

“This online course is a great opportunity especially for people like us who work and don’t have time to attend some classes due to schedule conflicts. This really helps me a lot. Just by sitting in front of my laptop for one to two hours, I gain more knowledge,” said Marrian Vedua.

The free apps development course is part of the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program or SWEEP. This is a long-running program aimed at improving engineering and IT education in the country. Because of SWEEP, Smart was recently cited by international magazine Fortune as one of 50 companies that have “changed the world.”

More information on Smart’s corporate social responsibility programs can be found on the Smart Communities Facebook page. (Press Release)

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Smart nominated as CSR company of the year

PLDT mobile unit Smart Communications is shortlisted by the prestigious Asia CEO Awards for the Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year. The Asia CEO Awards recognizes outstanding leadership achievements…

PLDT mobile unit Smart Communications is shortlisted by the prestigious Asia CEO Awards for the Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year.

The Asia CEO Awards recognizes outstanding leadership achievements by individuals and organizations in the Philippines. The CSR award is for the company with the best projects on environmental protection and awareness, livelihood, and youth development.

Winners will be announced in a ceremony on October 18 at the Marriott Hotel Manila.

Smart CSR’s 5 pillars

Smart’s CSR program draws its strength from partnerships with communities, and aims to use technology for development. It has five pillars, namely education, disaster preparedness and response, health, environment, and livelihood.

Among its programs is the Smart TechnoCart, which aims to improve the literacy of kindergarten students in public elementary schools through online and mobile educational resources.

Each donated TechnoCart is 2ftx2ft tall and contains 20 tablets for students as well as a laptop, projector, tablet, and pocket WiFi for the teacher. The tablets are preloaded with the Batibot mobile application, the country’s first app for kids in Filipino aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.

Smart school in a bag

DIGITAL AID TO EDUCATION. Children from a remote community in Rizal see a laptop and other digital tools for the first time, after Smart donated a School-in-a-Bag to their school.

Improved students’ performance

Since June 2015, the TechnoCart has reached 30 schools with 246 classes and 6,173 students. Independent evaluation showed that the TechnoCart has helped improve students’ academic performance in various competencies.

Smart together with its employee volunteers have also been conducting tree-planting activities nationwide since 2003. Smart employees have planted more than 2 million seedlings and propagules for mangroves with the help of community stakeholders and volunteers from partner organizations.

Partnerships

Other activities aligned with Smart’s environmental pillar include reducing electricity consumption, recycling batteries, and exploring environmentally sound solutions like marketing materials made from stone and recycled paper.

Smart has also partnered with the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, and USAID-ECOFISH for DALOY, an SMS hotline enabling concerned citizens to inform the police about maritime violations. It has generated 95,468 broadcast messages, and has resulted in 25 arrests and the seizure of more than 4,000 pieces of contraband worth nearly $135,000. (Press release)

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PLDT Home, Smart sign partnership with ABS-CBN for iWant TV

In a groundbreaking partnership, the country’s leading digital services providers PLDT Home and Smart Communications have teamed up with multimedia conglomerate ABS-CBN for iWant TV, the network’s streaming service for…

In a groundbreaking partnership, the country’s leading digital services providers PLDT Home and Smart Communications have teamed up with multimedia conglomerate ABS-CBN for iWant TV, the network’s streaming service for TV shows, movies and other exclusive digital content.

Under the partnership, PLDT Home and Smart subscribers will soon be able to use their prepaid load or postpaid account to binge-watch and catch up on their favorite ABS-CBN shows, blockbuster films and other top-rated content on www.iwantv.com.ph on their computers or Smart TVs, or on the iWant TV app on their mobile phones and tablets.

Both PLDT Home and Smart will also soon roll out exciting offers to let millions of subscribers enjoy iWant TV content at their fingertips.

SMART ABS-CBN i Want TV

PARTNERSHIP. PLDT and Smart Chair Manny V. Pangilinan and ABS-CBN Chair Eugenio Gabby Lopez III lead the signing of the milestone partnership of PLDT Home and Smart Communications with ABS-CBN for iWant TV. Also in the photo are (from left) Oscar Reyes, FVP and Head of Home Business for PLDT; Ariel P. Fermin, EVP and Head of Consumer Business for PLDT and Smart; Carlo Katigbak, ABS-CBN President & CEO; and Rolando Valdueza, ABS-CBN Group CFO.

Expand digital content

Using iWant TV, subscribers may stream the past and current ABS-CBN shows like On the Wings of Love, Dolce Amore, Ang Probinsiyano and Til I Met You, as well as News and Current Affairs shows, among many others – anytime and anywhere.

This latest deal is set to further expand the widest breadth of digital content available to PLDT Home and Smart subscribers, as well as bolster the group’s thrust to deliver converged services that offer an unrivaled digital experience for Filipinos.

To get started with iWant TV, users can register for an account via www.iwantv.com.ph or download the iWant TV app on their Android and iOS devices.

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Smart calls for partners to bring digital learning to schools without electricity

Eleven-year-old Sheran Bueramo walks through hills and forests to go to school in Tanay Rizal in pursuit of his dream to be an engineer someday. Bueramo, however, hopes to succeed…

Eleven-year-old Sheran Bueramo walks through hills and forests to go to school in Tanay Rizal in pursuit of his dream to be an engineer someday. Bueramo, however, hopes to succeed in a technology-driven world studying in a school without electricity.

Rawang Elementary School is just one of over 3,000 schools in the Philippines – which serves more than 1 million students – with no electricity. Many of its students have not seen, much more used, a television, computer, or tablet that could help enhance their learning.

This is why Smart Communications launched the School-in-a-Bag. This is a backpack containing a solar panel for electricity, a laptop, tablet, mobile phone, pocket WiFi with starter load, LED TV, and learning modules. Smart targets to donate School-in-a-Bag units to 10 schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao this year, and hopes to get people and groups to add to this number via sponsorships.

Forging partnerships

“We don’t want children in remote areas to be left behind. We want to help them gain access to the wealth of knowledge out there through digital learning tools. But we cannot do this alone,” said Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino.

Each School-in-a-Bag costs P100,000. This already includes the devices, learning modules aligned with the K-12 curriculum, training for the teachers, and delivery of the unit. Each bag will benefit hundreds of students in its projected working life span of five years.

“We encourage companies, alumni associations, rotary clubs, local government units, and individuals to pitch in to give children in remote communities a fighting chance for a better future,” Orlino said. She said interested parties can send an email to TechnoCart@smart.com.ph for more details.

SMART School-in-a-bag

SCHOOL-IN-A-BAG. (From left) Smart public affairs supervisor Deivid Rioferio, Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino, Smart public affairs head Mon Isberto, Rawang Elementary School’s former principal Arlene Catampatan, Rawang Elementary school student Sheran Bueramo, Department of Education Rizal Division’s Nico Aquino, DepEd Tanay district supervisor Imelda Asuncion, and DepEd external partnerships service director Dr. Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros.

Discovering a new world

When Smart donated a School-in-a-Bag to Rawang Elementary School last July, Bueramo said he and his classmates were both happy and excited.

“Malaki ang naitulong ng School-in-a-Bag sa amin. Kahit kami ay nasa kabundukan, kahit paano ay naibsan ang kawalan namin ng malay. Nakakakita na kami ng ibang dimensyon bukod sa puno at bato (The School-in-a-Bag helped us a lot. Even though we are in the mountains, somehow our lack of knowledge has lessened. We can now see other dimensions of this world aside from the trees and rocks that we are used to),” he said.

Maria Asuncion Tongohan, a kinder and grade one teacher, observed that the School-in-a-Bag gave students a deeper understanding of the lessons. “We can discuss the subjects more thoroughly with them because there’s a visual component in the lecture. Instead of us just talking or drawing on the blackboard, the videos make it more interesting for them — especially for the little kids who want to see colorful visuals.”

Former principal Arlene Catampatan said, “Our students are not just interested in learning, they are also more behaved because they are attentive when they see these new gadgets.” She said student attendance has also improved.

Bag of hope

Dr. Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros, external partnerships service director at the Department of Education, described the School-in-a-Bag as a “bag of hope.”

“It is a bag for the future of our Filipino kids. Kids in provinces need more than kalinga (care); they also need opportunities to escape poverty. We thank Smart for paving the way,” she said.

Smart public affairs head Mon Isberto said the School-in-a-Bag program is part of the company’s overall efforts to use technology for development. “We try to see how technology can be put in the service of different areas of social and economic development, like education, livelihood, health, and disaster preparedness and response.” (Press Release)

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Teachers attend Smart-run technopreneurship training program in Cebu

Tagbilaran City in Bohol is gateway to such top tourism attractions as the Chocolate Hills and the white sand beaches of Panglao, but it is difficult and expensive to get…

Tagbilaran City in Bohol is gateway to such top tourism attractions as the Chocolate Hills and the white sand beaches of Panglao, but it is difficult and expensive to get around using the tricycles that are the most common means of transport.

Three faculty members of Holy Name University in Tagbilaran proposed an innovative solution to this mobility challenge – a localized booking system for tricycles – during the three-day SWEEPx: Technopreneurship Training for Teachers initiated by mobile leader Smart Communications.

The training, the third leg of which was recently held at the University of Cebu Banilad Campus, aims to inspire teachers to promote technology entrepreneurship among their students so the latter could use their academic learnings to solve problems in their communities.

The previous sessions were held in Cabanatuan and Davao. SWEEP is the longest-running collaboration between Smart and the academe which aims to raise the standards of engineering and IT education in the country.

Technopreneurship skills

The SWEEPx training taught participants the process of identifying a problem and solving it from a user’s perspective, and connected these skills with such entrepreneurship values as getting funding for and marketing their product.

“Technopreneurship is not just about learning how to do business to make a profit. It is also understanding the needs of the market. From the training, I learned practical business skills and strategic applications that I can impart to my students,” said Eduardo P. Mendoza Jr. of the University of San Carlos IT Department.

Several universities in Cebu and one each in the cities of Bacolod and Tagbilaran were represented in the technopreneurship seminar by faculty from their respective IT, Engineering, or Business Administration departments.

SWEEPx: Technopreneurship Training Cebu

TECHNOPRENEURSHIP TRAINING. Teachers from Cebu, Tagbilaran, and Bacolod complete a 3-day SWEEPx: Technopreneurship Training for Teachers initiated by mobile leader Smart Communications in Cebu. The training was held at the University of Cebu Banilad Campus. (Photo: Smart Communications)

Pitching workshop

SWEEPx participants underwent a pitching workshop handled by Tudlo Innovations Solutions, Inc. managing director Vince Loremia. He said his technology business that grew out of the need for emergency and disaster response solutions “started with what you had two days ago — an idea.”

From his pitching experience with investors, Loremia said he learned it is always best to start with a story than to present figures. He added that they should also be aware of the most common things that tech startup founders miss out on when talking to investors, such as demonstrating an understanding of the market, clearly presenting revenue projections, and showing a plan to mitigate big risks.

User experience

University of Cebu – Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue Campus faculty member Teodoro A. Avergonzad Jr. said one important thing he learned from the training was understanding the user experience or UX process and its role in creating great products.

Phil Smithson, On Off Group director, handled the training on the use of the UX process and its role in the creation of great products and having these tested with the people who will use them. The Dream Project founder Prim Paypon talked about how to identify social pains and problems.

For more information on SWEEP, please visit www.smartsweep.ph. (Press Release)

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Smart makes Fortune magazine’s ‘Change the World’ list

Top international business magazine Fortune included Philippine mobile leader Smart Communications in its list of 50 companies around the world that are creating “important social impact.” Smart placed 36th in…

Top international business magazine Fortune included Philippine mobile leader Smart Communications in its list of 50 companies around the world that are creating “important social impact.”

Smart placed 36th in Fortune’s second “Change the World” list, joining the ranks of global business giants like GlaxoSmithKline, Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Unilever. Smart is the only Philippine company and the only telco on the list.

The annual rankings aim to showcase the power of companies to improve the human condition by making an important social or environmental impact through their business strategy and operations.

Address social problems

“The best businesses, of course, have always put purpose at the center of their strategies. But members of this new group realize that restoring public trust is essential to their long-term success. Increasingly, they are building intentional efforts to address social problems into the core of their business plans. It is these efforts that we highlight in our second annual Change the World list,” said Fortune Editor Alan Murray.

Smart SWEEP

HANDS-ON TRAINING. Smart has been partnering with schools to provide hands-on training to engineering and IT students, helping them get ready for the ‘real world.’

Smart was particularly cited for its Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP), under which the company partners with colleges and universities to improve engineering and information technology education in the country. The program, which was launched in 2003, also aims to help schools produce industry-ready graduates and future technology entrepreneurs.

“We are honored to be included in this prestigious global list, and are happy that Fortune recognizes Filipinos’ efforts to use technology for development. We thank our partner-schools for working hand in hand with us to provide quality engineering and IT education to Filipino students. We hope that by doing so, we are encouraging and equipping them to create innovations that will improve the lives of our countrymen,” said Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Improve IT, engineering education

Under SWEEP, Smart provides schools with up-to-date telecommunications equipment, as well as hands-on trainings, seminars, and internships. Smart also sits in annual curriculum reviews to provide inputs on industry trends, helping schools ensure that their course offerings are relevant.

To date, more than 30,000 teachers and students from all over the Philippines have directly benefitted from trainings organized by Smart. About 1,000 students from partner-schools have been hired into Smart’s technology group.

Smart SWEEP

Through the SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards, Smart encourages students to develop innovations that will help solve common problems.

Innovations platform for students

In 2004, Smart launched the SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards, a competition encouraging students to create mobile and digital innovations that will help solve common problems. Student teams whose entries are deemed to have market potential are offered seed funding, mentoring, and the runway to convert their school projects into actual commercial products. Schools of teams that make it to the finals, in turn, receive grants that they use to set up Innovations Centers.

So far, Smart has received more than 1,000 entries from schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Some of these student projects have been turned into actual commercial products. An example is TimeFree, a finalist in the 2010 SWEEP Awards, which is now a startup offering a virtual queuing solution to businesses and government agencies.

The Fortune citation is not the first time for SWEEP to be recognized by an international organization. In December 2012, the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, published a case study citing SWEEP as an example of how operators could help address barriers in education.

Investment in education

“SWEEP has lasted for nine years,” the GSMA said then, “because it adds real value to both Smart and the partner schools, mainly through the investment in the continuing education program.”

It added, “Young people have many new ideas ranging from simple yet practical to holistic and elegant. The key to harnessing them is to provide a ‘playground’ where they can express and develop their ideas freely, working as partners to come up with tangible and viable applications or solutions.”

More information on SWEEP and on Smart’s other corporate social responsibility programs can be found in the Smart Communities Facebook page.

Business strategy with social impact

In assembling the “Change the World” list, Fortune partnered with consulting firm FSG, global organization platform Shared Value Initiative, and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter to solicit and assess nominations.

A team of journalists from Fortune then conducted an investigation of each candidate. The final 50 were selected and ranked by Fortune editors.

The nominees were vetted and judged based on the following criteria – measurable social impact, business results, and degree of innovation. (Press release)

 

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YouTube, Facebook stars showcase talents in Cebu concert

Leroy Sanchez and some of the popular local YouTube performers showcased their talents in “Smart presents Own It Concert” in LIV Superclub in Cebu last July 10. Already with more than…

Leroy Sanchez and some of the popular local YouTube performers showcased their talents in “Smart presents Own It Concert” in LIV Superclub in Cebu last July 10.

Already with more than 2 million subscribers on his YouTube channel superleroyvv, Sanchez rose to prominence by uploading cover songs, especially of Adele’s Hello.

He wowed the crowd at the Smart event with his talent and charms, as he jammed with concertgoers while singing his own single “By My Side.”

YouTube star Leroy Sanchez

YouTube star Leroy Sanchez. (Photo by USJ-R Communications Intern Jenny Bontuyan)

Sanchez’s video singing Adele’s Hello gained more than 34 million views on YouTube. He has posted more than 50 videos with millions of views covering songs of Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and many more.

Empower the young

The Smart concert aims to empower the young to own the best version of themselves. It showcased a series of shows featuring social media celebrities with millions of followers and viewers on YouTube.

Australian pop rock band LYNK, which used to be known as At Sunset, G-force, and Zendee Rose Tenefere were among the lineup of artists at the one-night event.

Australian pop rock band LYNK

Australian pop rock band LYNK. (Photo by USJ-R Communications Intern Jenny Bontuyan)

Smart offered show tickets onsite, with subscribers only needing to load P50 or new subscribers just having to buy a Smart LTE Sim for P24 and loading P50.

LYNK is a band of the brothers Harrison, Andrew and Matthew Kantarias. They started getting known by recording cover songs of One Direction, Justin Bieber, other artists and posting the videos on YouTube. Doing “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran gained more than a million views.

Zendee Rose Tenerefe, a Filipina singer, became known after a video of her singing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” was posted on YouTube.

Discovery

“Nadiscover ako na iba yung nag upload ng video ko so parang iyon din yung nagbigay ng idea sa akin. Why not? Bakit di ako gumawa ng sarili kong channel and now I have like a 120k subscribers on Youtube,” she said. (I was discovered when someone else posted a video of me singing. So I thought why not create my own channel and put my videos there.)

Zendee Rose Tenerefe

YouTube star Zendee Rose Tenerefe. (Photo by USJ-R Communications Intern Jenny Bontuyan)

Zendee said Jessie J has been her “goalspiration” – millennial-speak for goal and inspiration – and she’s been an avid follower of the international singer starting from when her career was just starting to take off.

For people hesitant to share their talents with the online world, they should realize that YouTube or other social media platforms may be their stepping stone to success, she added.

The dance group Gforce shared its talent on YouTube and was able to create a fan base. It was Georcelle Sy, Gforce artistic director, who encouraged the group to upload videos of their dance routines.

Cebu Facebook celebrities

Cebu’s Facebook celebrities Rowell Ucat, who is more known as Medyo Maldito, and Snake Princess were also present. Both are known for their viral videos and hugot lines on FB.

Medyo Maldito said he and Snake princess collaborate on some of his “hugot” videos.

The Gabbie Show and Cameron Dallas are some of the international youtubers he looks up to.

Medyo Maldito said he is tapping his popularity to create a fan base and earn a living. He plans to invest the money he has earned so far. Snake Princess said she is thankful to her supporters and advise those who want to follow in her footsteps to lose the attitude because it is going to be a hindrance.

(Glydel and Jenny are InnoPub Media interns from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. InnoPub Media is the publisher of MyCebu.ph)

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PLDT, Smart boost data connectivity in Davao airport

PLDT and Smart Communications have strengthened access to the internet with the installation of Smart Wifi in Davao City’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport. The upgrade of the wireless connectivity in…

PLDT and Smart Communications have strengthened access to the internet with the installation of Smart Wifi in Davao City’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport.

The upgrade of the wireless connectivity in the airport would enable travelers using the passenger terminal to maximize their digital experience while connecting to their loved ones and friends via social media, or checking out details like the weather and must-do’s in their next destination. With a bandwidth of 1 gigabit per second, Smart Wifi promises a world-class digital experience. Single-user tests done during the inauguration showed speeds of up to 226mbps for downloading, and up to 126mbps for uploading.

“Connectivity is important for a country of many islands like the Philippines. The Smart Wifi is just the first in a series of projects that the Department of Transportation intends to roll out in the coming days in partnership with PLDT and Smart,” said Transportation Undersecretary Roberto Lim.

PLDT and Smart strengthen wireless connectivity at the Davao International Airport. In photo are from left, Arnold Dellosa, Head, Smart Regional Development for Mindanao; Regina Pineda, Head, Smart Wifi Marketing and Project Management; Transportation Undersecretary Bobby Lim, Finina Tabuena-Gorres, VP for enterprise customer operations management sector at PLDT and Smart, Davao International Airport manager Efren Nagrama, and Harold Kim Orbase, Head of Enterprise Fulfillment Management at PLDT.

PLDT and Smart strengthen wireless connectivity at the Davao International Airport. In photo are from left, Arnold Dellosa, Head, Smart Regional Development for Mindanao; Regina Pineda, Head, Smart Wifi Marketing and Project Management; Transportation Undersecretary Bobby Lim, Finina Tabuena-Gorres, VP for enterprise customer operations management sector at PLDT and Smart, Davao International Airport manager Efren Nagrama, and Harold Kim Orbase, Head of Enterprise Fulfillment Management at PLDT.

 

Gateway to the south

“A tourist’s impression of a country will be largely based on the first and last experience of his destination. Smart Wifi contributes to improving this experience and to the success of having them come over and visit again,” added Lim.

Considered as the gateway to the southern corridor, the Davao airport is the third busiest airport in the country serving close to 3 million passengers annually. For the first quarter of this year alone, over 818,000 inbound and outbound passengers made use of the airport, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines office in Davao.

“Davao City, a growing regional tourism and business hub, welcomes Smart Wifi. Travelers will be delighted to stay connected even when they are on the go. Passengers can check emails, browse websites, chat with friends, read news, and a whole lot more. These make traveling a whole lot better,” said Davao City Councilor Joanne Bonguyan-Quilos.

Internet can ease the waiting

“Potential flight delays and waiting time for passengers won’t be as difficult anymore because Internet access can ease the waiting. As airport manager, I find that free Internet access also lessens our burden in ensuring that passengers have a good time while traveling to and from their destinations,” said Davao International Airport manager Efren Nagrama.

“The Smart Wifi rollout in the Davao airport is in line with our commitment to the public to improve Internet access and coverage nationwide. With the data connectivity, travelers will get to enjoy a seamless digital experience for more meaningful journeys,” said Eric R. Alberto, Executive Vice President and Head of Enterprise and International Carrier Business at PLDT and Smart.

The Davao airport is one of 21 major transport hubs identified by the DOTr for installation of Smart Wifi as outlined by the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and PLDT and Smart chairman, president and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Smart Davao Airport

Davao City Councilor Joanne Bonguyan-Quilos (right) and Finina Tabuena-Gorres, VP for enterprise customer operations management sector at PLDT and Smart try the speed test using the Smart Wifi at the Davao City airport.

 

Initial rollout

The initial rollout also includes all four passenger terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as well as airports in Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Kalibo, Laguindingan, General Santos, Clark, Laoag, Cebu, Caticlan, and Zamboanga, as well as seaports in Batangas and Mindoro.

Commuters will get to experience fast connectivity in the station platforms, light rail vehicle, and on the street level of the entire lines of MRT3, and LRT 1 and 2.

It will also be available at the terminals of major bus companies including Alps, Five Star Bus, Isarog Bus, Jam Liner, Philtranco, and Victory Liner.

Over time, Smart Wifi’s footprint will also be expanded to cover more public areas, such as city halls, schools, hospitals, and establishments such as malls, restaurants, and coffee shops, among many others, amid the increasing demand for more public Wifi hotspots in the country.

The rollout is backed by PLDT’s robust and resilient fixed and wireless networks. (Press Release)

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PLDT, Smart unveil new logos to mark ‘digital pivot’

PLDT and mobile subsidiary Smart Communications unveiled its new logos tonight to highlight a fresh brand identity anchored on its “digital pivot,” a massive shift of the company to data…

PLDT and mobile subsidiary Smart Communications unveiled its new logos tonight to highlight a fresh brand identity anchored on its “digital pivot,” a massive shift of the company to data services.

PLDT and Smart chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Manuel V. Pangilinan led company officials in unveiling the logo in the Makati Shangri-la. The unveiling was streamed live to and marked in several company locations throughout the country.

The new logo also comes after the recent change in the name of the company from the “Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company” to “PLDT Inc.” The company said in a statement that the change in name better represents its “thrust to decisively shift its business to data-driven services.”

PLDT, Smart new logo

UNVEILING. PLDT and Smart chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan (center) lead the unveiling of the companies’ new logos. With Pangilinan are PLDT executive vice president Eric Alberto (2nd from right) and chief strategy officer Winston Damarillo. (Photo: Max Limpag)

“Powerful convergence”

The new logo, the company said, “symbolizes the powerful convergence of PLDT and Smart, combining fixed and wireless technologies to serve individual and enterprise customers.” It is shaped like a triangle to represent its business pillars: “exceptional people, meaningful innovations, and our valuable customers.”

The new logos.

The new logos.

The triangle is also the symbol for the Greek letter Delta for “change.”

“Taken together, these 3 pillars create tremendous energy that will enable our customers to achieve their limitless potential. The triangle’s 3 sides support each other. Thus and inherent strength flows harmoniously among the sides to sustain the structure,” Pangilinan said.

PLDT, Smart “digital pivot”

PLDT and Smart are on a 3-year “digital pivot” to turn its data network into the “country’s most data-capable infrastructure” to underpin a “growing array of compelling digital services.”

PLDT and its subsidiaries like Voyager Innovation and Talas Data Intelligence are developing digital and financial technology services that will offer customers of the group “higher levels of efficiencies and convenience.”

ERASERHEADS. The icons of Philippine rock performed together for the first time in a long while during the unveiling. (Photo: Max Limpag)

ERASERHEADS. The icons of Philippine rock performed together for the first time in a long while during the unveiling. (Photo: Max Limpag)

“Rather than allow ourselves to be disrupted by new technologies, we are disrupting ourselves. We have embarked on a digital pivot to enable us to serve the increasing needs of our people’s digital lifestyle and the country’s growing digital economy,” Pangilinan said.

“We shall lead the digital revolution by embracing the smart life within the organization, pursuing digital innovations and enabling our customers to go digital in their own ways. The biggest winners will be our customers who will have a growing range of choices at their fingertips,” Pangilinan added in a press statement.

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Smart brings P888 pocket WiFi tour to Cebu

Smart’s nationwide tour to promote its Smart Bro 888 BRO-Kada made its Cebu stop this weekend with a press conference, mall visits, and a bar tour. The company said its…

Smart’s nationwide tour to promote its Smart Bro 888 BRO-Kada made its Cebu stop this weekend with a press conference, mall visits, and a bar tour.

The company said its P888 offering for the 4G pocket WiFI is timely, because students are set to go back to school in a few days. For that amount, customers get a pocket WiFi that can connect up to 10 devices and a free 350 MB data allocation for 3 months. The package will only be offered until June 30, officials said.

“Now more affordable than ever, the Smart Bro 4G Pocket WiFi makes it easy for students to access a vast wealth of online information and share this with the whole barkada,” said Gary Dujali, Smart marketing head for consumer broadband and PLDT Home VP and marketing director in a press statement.

Smart Bro MJ Lastimosa

SMART BRO 888. Beauty queen MJ Lastimosa is one of the celebrity endorsers of the Smart Bro 888 BRO-kada nationwide tour. (Photo: Max Limpag)

 

Smart Bro data package

The pocket WiFi is best used with the Surfmax 85 offer, which gives users all-day Internet surfing for 2 days for P85, Dujali said. As a special offering for Cebu during the tour, Dujali said Surfmax 85 will be sold on a “buy one-take one” basis, meaning that those who top up using this package will get 4 days of Internet connectivity.

Smart Bro Prepaid senior manager Abigail Ng Sy said that people, especially the young, share a lot of things online, from status updates, pictures to videos.

“People are always online and everything they do, they share online,” Sy said during the press conference on Saturday. She said the Smart Bro package they are offering is fit for this generational culture of always being online.

The company brought 2 of its celebrity endorsers to Cebu for the BRO-kada tour: beauty queen MJ Lastimosa and award-winning singer Michael Pangilinan.

Smart Bro 888 Pocket Wi-Fi

POCKET WI-FI PACKAGE. For P888, customers can buy this Smart Bro pocket Wi-Fi that can connect up to 10 devices. Part of the package is a free 350 MB data allocation for 3 months. (Photo: Max Limpag)

 

Where to buy Smart Bro 888 in Cebu

“And with our continuous network improvements here, Cebuanos can also rely on the Smart Bro Pocket WiFi for their daily dose of online fun – from watching videos, streaming music and sharing photos and files on the fly,” said Dujali.

Customers who buy the package in Cebu from Smart pop up booths this weekend will get a free Smart Bro t-shirt and a chance to win P10,000 worth of gift certificates. The pop up booths are located in Sambag 1 and Barangay Luz barangay halls, Colonnade Mall, E-Mall, Robinsons Galleria and the bars that are part of the BRO-kada tour.

The team will also be giving out beer stubs to those who will buy the Smart Bro 4G pocket WiFi during the bar tour in Alchology, Distillery and LIV.

Smart Bro-kada Cebu tour

SMART BRO-KADA. Present during the press conference to announce the Smart Bro 888 BRO-Kada are (from left) Gary Dujali, Smart marketing head for consumer broadband and PLDT Home VP and marketing director; Pam Santiago, AVP Smart Broadband; beauty queen MJ Lastimosa; Abigail Ng Sy, Smart Bro prepaid senior manager; and singer Michael Pangilinan. (Photo: Max Limpag)

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Smart records fastest growth in mobile postpaid

PLDT wireless subsidiary gains 6x more subscribers, 5x more revenue than competition PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications scored twin victories in the hotly-contested postpaid segment in the first quarter, posting…

PLDT wireless subsidiary gains 6x more subscribers, 5x more revenue than competition

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications scored twin victories in the hotly-contested postpaid segment in the first quarter, posting the fastest growth both in terms of revenue and subscriber base.

Smart’s postpaid revenues rose 16% year-on-year, more than five times faster than competition’s 3% revenue growth. Smart added P614 million to its postpaid revenues, ending the quarter with P4.3 billion.

On top of this, Smart acquired new postpaid subscribers at a much faster rate than competition did, 25% vs 4%. Smart grew its postpaid subscriber base by 322,000 to end the first quarter with 1.6 million subscribers.

Best plans and perks

“Smart’s continued postpaid leadership can be attributed to our compelling device offers, improved customer experience, as well as to the groundbreaking content partnerships that have enabled us to offer a wider array of digital services that are relevant to our customers,” said Smart and PLDT executive vice president and head of consumer business Ariel Fermin.

Smart achieved all-time high iPhone sales in the first quarter of 2016, with sales volume up by 60% year-on-year. This was recorded after Smart launched unbeatable postpaid offers for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Subscribers can get a free iPhone 6s at Plan 2000 with a supersized 10 GB data allowance for all their videos, music, and games. On top of this, they will get All-Month Surf for access to their favorite websites and apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter; plus 150 minutes of all-net calls and 200 all-net texts.

Smart-Postpaid

Meanwhile, the iPhone 6s Plus is free at Plan 2499 on a 30-month contract, with a 15GB monthly data allowance, All-Month Surf, 300 minutes of all-net calls, and 300 all-net texts.

Last March, Smart was the first to offer the Samsung Galaxy S7 which comes free at Surf Plus Plan 1999. This monthly plan is inclusive of a 9GB data allowance, 150 minutes of calls and 200 texts to all networks, and free access to an app chosen by the subscriber.

Meanwhile, Smart’s premium postpaid brand Smart Infinity offered its subscribers two units of the Samsung Galaxy S7 plus a Samsung Gear VR under the Infinity LTE Consumable Plan 8000.

A state-of-the-art virtual reality headset, the Samsung Gear VR is set to usher in the next frontier in mobile entertainment, instantly transporting users in 3D and computer-generated animated worlds, as well as 180- or 360-degree live action scenes.

Richest digital content

Also driving postpaid growth was the wide breadth of video and digital content made available by Smart’s partnerships with the world’s content leaders. An example of this was Smart’s partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures, which enabled Smart to take the hit film Batman v Superman to the digital realm.

Smart opened a Batman v Superman online portal where subscribers could watch exciting videos and join interactive online challenges. Smart Postpaid subscribers, as well as Smart Prepaid and Smart Bro subscribers, also had the chance to win a trip for two to Japan or Hong Kong with every top-up of Big Bytes promos.

Smart also partnered with Uber to provide its passengers with free in-car Smart WiFi – a first in Southeast Asia. With this service, more Filipinos have experienced the Smart Life even while struck in traffic or breezing through the metropolis.

Improved customer experience

Fermin said Smart’s postpaid growth indicates enhanced consumer trust in the company, as it boosts efforts to improve customer experience.

“We are happy that Filipinos trust us to fulfill their various mobile needs. We value this trust, and we are continuously improving our network so our customers would truly live digital and enjoy a Smart Life,” he said.

PLDT and Smart have set aside about P43 billion in capital expenditures this year, the bulk of which is budgeted to boost internet services in the country, including the recently announced initial deployment of LTE-Advanced also known as 4.5G. (Press Release)

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7 ways to level up your Sinulog experience with the Smart Life

Headed to Cebu for the Sinulog Festival? You are in for the most awesome experiences with your barkada as Smart, the country’s mobile services leader, gives you many ways to enjoy the Philippines’ grandest and most colorful celebration!

Headed to Cebu for the Sinulog Festival? You are in for the most awesome experiences with your barkada as Smart, the country’s mobile services leader, gives you many ways to enjoy the Philippines’ grandest and most colorful celebration!

From sailing to Cebu in style onboard a party boat and staying in unique, memorable accommodations, to staying connected to your favorite apps while partying all out with the best DJs, you can rely on Smart to give you the best festival experience!

Smart Sinulog

Here are some of the ways you can make the most of the festivities with the Smart Life:

1. Sail on a party ship to Sinulog. Post your best squad photo on Instagram with the hashtags #SmartSinulog and #SmartLife for a chance to win a roundtrip ticket to Sinulog for 5 via Oh Ship!, the biggest cruise party headed for Sinulog! On top of that, you and your friends get to stay at an Airbnb accommodation as well as attend the hottest Sinulog parties for free!

Oh Ship!’s maiden voyage sets sail on Jan.15, and will feature all-night beats from top DJ and Producer Andy Caldwell and Smart ambassador Nix Damn P, along with some of the country’s top beatmakers. What an epic way to get to Sinulog!

2. Relax at an Airbnb accommodation with P2,500 discount. Stumped on where to stay in Cebu? Check out Airbnb, which is the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company. With only a few clicks on your phone, you can choose and book from Airbnb’s listing of unique accommodations that offer a complete and convenient travel experience for your squad.

Even better, Smart subscribers get as much as P2,500 discount with a minimum booking spend of P8,000! All you have to do is text SMARTAIRBNB to 2855 for FREE to receive a unique promo code, which you can use for your transaction.

3. Party hard at ‘Smart Life’ Parties. Aside from the colorful street parades and cultural shows, you and your barkada can head to the LifeDance Cebu and Invasion Cebu for Smart’s brand of epic partying.

The biggest electronic dance music party, the LifeDance Cebu will be held at the San Pedro Calungsod Shrine on Jan. 15, with a strong line-up of DJs that include New World Sound, Tom Swoon, Felguk and DJ Snake, along with Smart ambassadors DJ Ace Ramos and MC Pao, among others. On the other hand, Invasion Cebu, a colorful music feast at Fooda on Mango Ave. on Jan. 17, is topbilled by the country’s party staples featuring Smart ambassadors Nix damn P, Inno Naguit and MC Pao.

4. Hang out at the Smart Dome for games and prizes. In both the LifeDance Cebu and Invasion Cebu, you have access to the Smart Dome, a cozy hangout where you can retreat and reenergize from time to time. Get a Sinulog shirt which you can design the way you like as an instant festival souvenir! Your whole barkada can also engage in exciting activities at the booths of Smart Bro, Spinnr, iflix, Airbnb for a chance to take home awesome prizes.
5. Experience the Smart Life at Sinulog hotspots. Smart put up charging stations, Smart Life Cam and Free WiFi spots so you are sure capture your barkada’s Smart Life moments and upload them instantly for all the world to see!

6. Download the Sinulog app. Stay abreast with the latest updates on Sinulog by downloading the FREE Sinulog app on your Android or iOS device. This way, you’re sure not to miss all the happenings and Smart Life perks in the country’s grandest celebration!

7. Share the Sinulog experience. Make your Sinulog memories last by sharing them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat with the hashtags #SmartSinulog and #SmartLife! Cover all your online needs throughout the festival with Smart Prepaid’s Big Bytes 50, which gives you 350MB for surfing and access to your favorite apps.

On top of your 350MB, you also get 600MB for your choice of videos and music from the jampacked catalogue of Fox, iFlix and Spinnr, valid for three days – all for only P50.

Keep tabs on the latest Sinulog Festival experiences by checking our Smart’s official accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Smart, MyPhone launch P888 Android unit to boost smartphone use among Filipinos

For a one-time payment of just P888, people can now get a smartphone prepaid kit with a Smart Prepaid Sim packed with Free 100MB in connectivity valid for 30 days for 12 months as well as a load rebate of P30 for an accumulated top-up of P100 every month for 12 months.

For a one-time payment of just P888, people can now get a smartphone prepaid kit with a Smart Prepaid Sim packed with Free 100MB in connectivity valid for 30 days for 12 months as well as a load rebate of P30 for an accumulated top-up of P100 every month for 12 months.

The unique offering is a collaboration between mobile services leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and MyPhone, the Philippines’ pioneering mobile phone brand. The promotion is aimed at increasing the smartphone adoption in the country, where only 40 percent of Filipinos owned a smartphone as of 2015, based on a recent report by Swedish ICT provider Ericsson.

Smart’s first offer for 2016 is part of the company’s two-track approach in putting the power of digital services into the hands of more Filipinos this year, said Ariel P. Fermin, Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Business at Smart.

Smart Prepaid Myphone

JUST P888. Smart’s Prepaid Smartphone features a dual-SIM functionality and comes preloaded with the hottest apps like iflix and Spinnr, Smart’s award-winning music streaming app. It has a 5MP main camera and 2MP front camera, as well as an 8GB expandable memory.

 

Smart Life experience

“This 2016, we are bringing the Smart Life experience to more Filipinos by first, leading the way in making the Smartphone a lot more attainable through unprecedented device offers and compelling promos and second, by further expanding our range of digital services in the fields of connectivity, entertainment, home security, urban convenience and financial services – which are at the core of the Smart Life,” said Fermin.

Ericsson’s study estimates the smartphone adoption in the Philippines to jump to 70 percent of the population in three years as devices become more affordable and more digital services are introduced into the market.

“We are thrilled to team up with MyPhone, which shares our vision of democratizing access to smartphones, enabling more Filipinos to enjoy meaningful apps and services that make their life a lot more fun and convenient,” said Fermin.

With the offer, Smart not only expects to entice new smartphone users and Smart Prepaid subscribers, but to also sustain mobile data usage within PLDT’s wireless segment, which grew by 139 percent and led to combined broadband and mobile Internet revenues of P15.6 billion in the first nine months of 2015.

Phone specs

Available at all Smart Stores, Smart Online Store and all MyPhone retail outlets nationwide, Smart’s Prepaid Smartphone has a quad-core processor that runs the latest Android operating system Lollipop, which allows for efficient multitasking – from browsing news sites, emailing, and using popular apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and chat apps like Viber, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

Smart’s Prepaid Smartphone also features a dual-SIM functionality and comes preloaded with the hottest apps like iflix, Southeast Asia’s leading internet TV service, and Spinnr, Smart’s award-winning music streaming app, among many others.

The phone is equipped with 5MP main camera and 2MP front camera, as well as an 8GB expandable memory that can be used to save top apps and mobile games like Clash of Clans, Boom Beach and Bejeweled, among many others.

“We can’t wait for more Filipinos to discover the Smart Life through our irresistible device offers, apps and services weaved into an unrivaled digital experience that only the country’s mobile services leader can provide,” said Fermin. (Press release)

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PLDT HOME, Smart allow sharing of DSL monthly data allocation with mobile phones

PLDT and Smart Communications, the country’s leading telecommunications and digital services providers, have come together to offer the Philippines’ first data plan that enables subscribers to a home DSL service to share their data allocation with mobile phones of family members.

PLDT and Smart Communications, the country’s leading telecommunications and digital services providers, have come together to offer the Philippines’ first data plan that enables subscribers to a home DSL service to share their data allocation with mobile phones of family members.

Under its new Speedster Fam Plan 1299, PLDT HOME DSL offers five times faster speeds of up to 10 megabits per second (Mbps) and a monthly data allocation of 50 gigabytes (GB). Subscribers who upgrade their Speedster Plan with a Smart mobile plan 399 or plan 600 can share 6GB of the 50GB monthly data allocation to their mobile phone lines which they can use even outside the home. Customers may get up to four Smart mobile phone lines bundled with their Speedster Fam Plan, all conveniently billed under one subscription.

Value of sharing

According to PLDT and Smart EVP and Consumer Business Group Head Ariel P. Fermin, this new service takes off from the Filipino value of sharing. “Sharing is at the core of every Filipino family. We share everything, from food to stories, and memories, and now, data connectivity,” he said.

“Now, more than ever, the strongest connections truly begin at home. With this unrivaled and powerful convergence of the country’s number one broadband provider, PLDT HOME; and the undisputed leader in mobile services, Smart, we are going beyond the home and enriching mobile experiences of our subscribers,” Fermins said.

“It’s certainly not just about the shared gigabytes but we humanize technology by empowering our customers to live their digitally driven lives to the fullest and strengthen the connections they have with their loved ones despite physical distance through the power of digital and mobile technology,” he said.

PLDT Home Speedster

PLDT HOME. PLDT and Smart Communications now allow subscribers to a home DSL service to share their data allocation with mobile phones of family members.

PLDT HOME Speedster Fam Plan

PLDT HOME’s launch of the new Speedster Fam Plan 1299 comes at the heels of its groundbreaking partnerships last year that enriched the digital lifestyles of its over 70 million subscribers combined. For world-class entertainment content, the two industry leaders teamed up with iflix and Fox International Channels as well as with online business game changers Uber, Zalora, foodpanda and AirBnB to complement the lifestyle needs of their subscribers.

PLDT HOME also launched the country’s first 1Gbps plan and partnered with technology leaders Intel and Microsoft to level up the pioneering over-the-top device TVolution Stick.

The PLDT Group’s robust and resilient fixed and wireless networks, with the country’s most extensive fiber optic footprint that spans over 100,000 kilometers, enables PLDT HOME and Smart to offer reliable broadband services that power Filipinos’ connected homes and digital lifestyles. For more information, you can log on to www.pldthome.com.

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DepEd integrates Smart video materials into disaster preparedness education

“Maging Laging Handa,” a series of disaster-readiness videos developed by Smart Communications (Smart), has been distributed to public elementary schools nationwide in support of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) initiative to integrate Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the education curriculum.

“Maging Laging Handa,” a series of disaster-readiness videos developed by Smart Communications (Smart), has been distributed to public elementary schools nationwide in support of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) initiative to integrate Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the education curriculum.

Developed in partnership with PAGASA, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the video series was launched recently at the disaster risk reduction and resilience in education forum of DepEd which was attended by the disaster coordinators from all regions. The videos, which promote Smart’s advocacy for a safer Philippines, are especially designed for children who are most vulnerable during disasters.

Localized content, verified by experts

“The Maging Laging Handa videos of Smart are very valuable addition to our DRR curriculum for elementary students. In addition to being a fun educational material which improves memory retention, the content is localized and verified by experts,” said Ms. Ronilda Co, Director IV of the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service. “I’m sure our students will enjoy watching the videos while learning at the same time,” Co added.

The video materials cover precautionary measures and safety tips for various calamities such as typhoons, floods, tsunamis, storm surges, earthquakes, and landslides. The videos simplify disaster-related concepts like the typhoon signals, rainfall warning signals, and the differences between a storm surge and a tsunami.

A teacher’s guide as to how these videos can be integrated in the disaster risk reduction (DRR) curriculum was also unveiled during the forum.

Smart Maging Laging Handa

DISASTER-READY. Participants of DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in Education Forum try their hand at puppeteering the three characters featured in the Maging Laging Handa video series developed by Smart. The preparedness videos are integrated into the DRR curriculum of elementary students.

 

Extend awareness to families

“The good thing about starting disaster preparedness with children is that these children are able to extend awareness to their families. And when families are aware, it’s easier to get them to participate in the preparedness efforts in their barangay, municipality or provinces,” said Smart Public Affairs Group Head Ramon Isberto. “This is one way to mobilize communities and really start that culture of preparedness among Filipinos,” Isberto added.

Smart as an organization has embraced preparedness, and has been aggressively promoting the culture of preparedness among its partner organizations under its #SafePH program.

The “Maging Laging Handa” videos feature television personality, Tonipet Gabba, as well as three puppets namely Inay Lena, a mother hen; Brownie, a dog; and Kali, a carabao. The videos also include all-original Tagalog songs aimed at making the learning journey richer and more exciting.

The videos, which can be viewed at www.smart.com.ph/SafePH, will now form part of Smart’s regular disaster preparedness caravans in various parts of the country to help strengthen disaster management capacities of local government units and their constituents.

To aid in disaster communications and response, Smart has also developed mobile apps and technology solutions such as the Batingaw and Project Noah apps, and the Smart Infocast. The telco has also been consistent in providing immediate libreng tawag services to areas affected by disasters using its satellite services. (Press Release)

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