Smart offers 66M customers free internet

Smart offers 66M customers free internet

29 SEP 2014

PLDT announced on Friday its mobile units Smart Communications, Sun Cellular and TNT will offer their 66 million prepaid mobile subscribers two months of free internet.

The daily data allowance is 30MB and customers need to have a balance of at least 1 peso ($0.02). The offer excludes access to YouTube, Vimeo, VoIP apps, messaging apps and peer-to-peer file-sharing sites and apps.

PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said its network is ready to cope with the expected surge in traffic, the Inquirer reported.

The new campaign, of course, is intended to give existing customers a taste of mobile broadband, with the goal of retaining them as data customers after the offer expires.

Rival Globe Telecom quickly issued a statement saying: “As the telco that pioneered free Facebook for the world, we are flattered and honoured that our competitors have chosen to follow the lead we have set. More people on the internet is good for the Philippines and our ecosystem.”

The offer comes less than two weeks after the two operators defended their broadband pricing and speed during a senate hearing, which was sparked by widespread complaints about the quality of country’s broadband services.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said during the meeting that while it has no power to regulate the price of internet services, it may be forced to prescribe minimum quality of service standards.

PLDT also said on Friday it plans to spend PHP30-35 billion ($680-800 million), or 18-20 per cent of service revenue, which is a slight increase from the PHP31-32 billion CAPEX budget announced in last year’s annual report.

The funds will be focused on expanding its fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure.

Smart has 69 million connections while Globe has almost 43 million. Globe’s overall market share climbed to 38 per cent from 33 per cent a year ago as Smart’s dropped from 66.5 per cent to 61 per cent during the same period.


Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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