Smart extends free Internet promo


Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) is extending its “game-changer” free Internet promo for all Smart, Talk ‘N Text and Sun Cellular subscribers until February 5, 2015.

“The promo was a real game-changer in the industry proving the Filipinos’ propensity for mobile data use,” said Charles Lim, head of wireless consumer business at Smart Communications and Sun Cellular.

Through the Smart Free Internet promo, all 69 million Smart, Talk ‘N Text and Sun Cellular subscribers all over the country can use their data-enabled cell phones to access the Internet without data charges, for up to 30MB daily.

Mobile data traffic
Smart also announced that its network is ready for the expected surge in mobile data traffic in 2015 after the holiday sales of smartphones were better than expected.

According to the latest smartphone sales tracking report from Gartner, released in December 2014, worldwide sales of smartphones grew 20 percent in the third quarter of 2014 – with much of the growth attributed to emerging markets in Asia and Africa. This mirrors Philippine data, showing smartphone sales in the country growing by about 22 percent in the same period, according to a report released in October 2014 by Singapore-based research firm GfK.

Over a fourth of Smart and Sun Cellular’s combined 69 million-plus subscribers are already using smartphones, helping drive a robust 112 percent increase in mobile data traffic within the network. This is equivalent to 27,000 terabytes worth of data exchanged from January to September 2014, compared with just 13,000 terabytes of data for the same period last year.

Through the Smart Free Internet promo, subscribers just need to register by texting FREE to 9999 to start using their data-enabled cell phones to access the Internet without data charges, for up to 30MB daily. It is available across all network platforms – from 2G to 3G to 4G speeds in the country.

Data capacity
“We have prepared and fully modernized and expanded our network for this uptrend, in terms of reach and availability. Beyond that, we are also accelerating our data capacity build-out, as part of our continuous efforts to future-proof our network in light of increased demands in mobile data for the coming months and years,” said Ramon Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart and PLDT.

Smart and Sun Cellular’s parent company Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) reported in November higher capex levels for 2014, projected to be approximately P34.5 billion, compared to an earlier projected number of P32 billion. This capex is expected to be carried over into 2015, given the market’s continued appetite for data services as more Filipinos start using smartphones.


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