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Tech

Smart, YouTube partnership offers free 1-hour daily access to video site

PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) is giving Smart, TNT, and Sun prepaid customers free access for one hour daily to YouTube and soon to other online video services until July 15.

These subscribers can watch YouTube for one hour for free daily by simply registering to load packages like GigaSurf99, AllOutSurf99, GigaSurf 50, AllOutSurf 30, Panalo Data 30, Panalo Combo 30, Super Combo 20, and Big Time Data 70. They can enjoy this special offer for the duration of the packages that they buy.

“Through this path-breaking partnership, many more Filipinos can pursue their passions like music and entertainment, and learn a wide range of skills, hobbies, educational material, news and information through the massive library of video material of YouTube. This service is something every Filipino should have access to,” said Oscar A. Reyes, Jr., SVP of Consumer Business Market Development for PLDT and Smart.

Smart Free YouTube
YOUTUBE PARTNERSHIP. Filipino YouTube creators during the announcement of Smart’s partnership with the video platform. (Photo from Smart Newsroom)

Enhance digital lifestyle

“With this new offer, mobile phone users now have everyday access to the richest video library with content from every corner of the planet—for free,” Reyes said. He added that this special promo will soon be available to postpaid subscribers as well.

“We are proud to partner with YouTube to bring the service closer to our customers. This is just the start of a fruitful partnership, and we are working on a lot of other exciting initiatives that will enhance the digital lifestyle of Filipinos,” Reyes said.

Aside from YouTube, another video service is also set to be part of the offer. Access to Smart360, a web portal where Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers can access various digital content like live TV, movies, series, music and games, will soon be free for a limited time. Other video content providers are also eligible to be included in the offer, subject to mutually agreed terms with Smart.

Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers are now better able to enjoy video streaming services like YouTube as a result of Smart’s massive network investments over the past several years which has enabled the mobile phone carrier to provide high-speed mobile data services via its expanded LTE and 3G networks throughout the country.

Internet experience at par with the world

To provide customers with a better video and mobile internet experience, Smart is accelerating the deployment of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) and carrier aggregation technology to more areas this year. Carrier Aggregation (CA), a feature of LTE-A, enables the combination of two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and much faster data speeds, which are crucial in providing the best video streaming experience to mobile phone users.

Smart has already rolled-out 3CC CA sites in cities across Metro Manila, as well as in major cities in other regions of the country, including Baguio, Calamba, Iloilo, Bacolod, Tagbilaran, Ormoc, Cagayan de Oro, Dipolog, Zamboanga, among others. In Metro Manila and areas where there is a concentration of capable devices, Smart is also deploying 4CC, starting with Marikina and Quezon City, where customers with 4CC CA-capable devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 have reported enjoying data download speeds of over 200 Mbps.

Smart’s accelerated deployment of LTE-Advanced follows the stepped up roll out of its LTE network. It is also upping the ante by deploying another LTE-A based technology called 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), which raises the radio frequency efficiency by using multiple antennas for sending and receiving data.

Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation. Capital expenditures reached P40 billion in 2017, of which about 67% was allotted for the mobile network. For 2018, PLDT capex is expected to reach P58 billion, which includes allocations for the aggressive roll-out of its fiber broadband service, which also supports the stepped-up deployment of the mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations. (Press Release)

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Tech

PLDT rolls out ‘Fibr City’ program in Toledo City

Leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT has stepped up its roll-out of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) facilities in strategic urban centers nationwide with Toledo City in Cebu becoming its first ever “Fibr City” project, where families and enterprises can enjoy world-class internet connectivity.

Through a partnership with the Toledo City government, the FTTH roll-out will serve the data connectivity needs of this fast-growing city with its mining industry and burgeoning tourism sector. PLDT is opening a Sales and Service Center on D. Macapagal Highway to serve its growing customer base in the city.

1 Gbps connectivity

“Fitted with the country’s most powerful broadband, Toledo City will now have access to fiber-fast internet speeds of as much as 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps),” PLDT FVP and Head of Home Business Oscar Reyes Jr. said. “This will allow family members to download movies in seconds, play games without any lags, and install security applications inside their homes.”

“PLDT HOME’s decision to pioneer its first Fibr City in Toledo is part of expansion plans in Central Philippines where we are accelerating our fiber roll-out aimed at bringing the strongest connections to more Filipinos,” Reyes noted.

PLDT Fibr City
PLDT FVP and Head of Home Business Oscar Reyes Jr., shown in the photo during the opening of the concept store in SM Seaside City Cebu, said Toledo City “will now have access to fiber-fast internet speeds of as much as 1 Gigabit per second.”

Entertainment, gaming

For plans starting at P1,899 a month, subscribers can access compelling entertainment and gaming content from PLDT Home partners and renowned providers like iflix, Netflix, Fox+, and iWant TV, among others, at minimal subscription fees.

Families will also enjoy added peace of mind with home security devices such as the home monitoring system Fam Cam, the cyber security platform Fam Zone and the multi-functional kiddie gadget Smart Watch.

With a footprint of around 2.8 million homes passed as of end-2016, PLDT is further expanding the reach of its FTTH network by about 80% to 4.4 million homes passed by the end of the year, making available the ultra-fast internet connection to more Filipino families in various parts of the country.

PLDT Fibr City Toledo City
For plans starting at P1,899 a month, subscribers can access compelling entertainment and gaming content from PLDT Home partners and renowned providers like iflix, Netflix, Fox+, and iWant TV, among others, at minimal subscription fees.

Smart homes

To further extend the reach of its fiber-speed internet service, PLDT has also started to deploy hybrid fiber technologies such as Huawei Technologies’ G.fast which can boost data speeds up to 600-700 Mbps over existing copper lines.

PLDT envisions that all of its subscribers will be in “smart homes” by end-2018 enabled by PLDT’s combined FTTH and fiber-fast services. PLDT will thus have an unrivaled robust and cost-efficient platform for offering its growing portfolio of entertainment, “peace of mind,” and other “Smart Home” services.

PLDT has invested P300 billion or $6 billion over the last 10 years to roll out the country’s most extensive transmission and distribution network infrastructure which now has 150,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables that transport the growing data traffic of its fixed line and mobile networks. (Press Release)

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Business Feature Tech

PLDT showcases “home of the future” in concept store in Cebu

When picking a subscription plan, people often find it difficult to visualize differences in the data speed offerings. A tool at the newly-opened PLDT Home concept store in SM Seaside City helps them easily and visually compare speed offerings of the different subscription plans.

The tool, named Broadband Visualizer, is among the many features customers can find inside the store, which was opened last Thursday.

“The concept behind the store is really to give the customers the real experience of what the future of the home will be. If you come in, you will see the different services that you can get when you have really good broadband internet,” said PLDT Home head Oscar Reyes Jr. in an interview with MyCebu.ph during the opening.

PLDT concept store Cebu
CHECKING OUT SERVICES. Guests check out options for video services in one of the digital kiosks inside the PLDT concept store in SM Seaside City. The store showcases products and services to build the “home of the future.”

1st PLDT Home concept store

The PLDT Home concept store in SM Seaside City is the first in the country, Reyes said. It is located in Cyberzone.

The Broadband Visualizer also includes a tool that allows people to indicate their data usage such as how often they download videos or use online services and then help them pick the plan that fits their needs.

“People always say you’ll get 2mbps, 3mbps, 20mbps. But what does it actually mean? Here you can actually see how fast downloading a video would take between two plans. If I get a 2mbps speed versus a 20 mbps speed, you’ll see the difference in how fast you actually download or stream a particular video,” Reyes said.

PLDT Home concept store
OPENING. PLDT Home head Oscar Reyes Jr. (3rd from left, front row), Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, PLDT Home CC and SS Strategy Performance Head Louella Aquino lead the opening of the concept store in SM Seaside City. (Photo by Marlen Limpag)

Augmented reality demonstration

A centerpiece of the store that occupies a huge window at front is an augmented reality demonstration. It shows real-time videos of people with augmented reality overlay like snapchat like filters, videos of elephants crossing and other animations.

The store also has booths that allow customers to experience offerings of PLDT Home Fibr, DSL, and Ultera offerings.

PLDT Home smartwatches
SMARTWATCHES. Among the gadgets you can check out in the store are these feature-packed smartwatches.

PLDT Home products

“Our new high-tech concept store, coupled with our accommodating staff and engaging activities, is part of our continuous efforts to proactively and efficiently address the needs of our current and potential Cebu-based subscribers,” PLDT Home Customer Care Head Paolo Lopez said in a statement.

The store also has a video chat facility for customer service concerns. The video chat allows them to directly talk to a Manila-based customer service officer.

The store also has demo products for Telpad, its voice phone unit that contains digital services. They can also try out their digital TV service Cignal delivered via Fibr and check options like iFlix, Netflix, Fox, and I Want TV.The store also has several smartwatches that customers can try out.

PLDT Home Telpad
PLDT TELPAD. These Telpad units add digital services to the traditional home telephone unit. You can try them out at the store.

 

Watch: PLDT opens concept store in SM Seaside City