Smart Communications Inc. has launched the country’s first prepaid Long-Term Evolution (LTE) service for LTE-capable handsets, making the fourth-generation (4G) service accessible to a wider segment of the market.
“With the launch of the Smart Prepaid LTE SIM [subscriber identification module]for mobile phones, we are making it possible for majority of our subscribers to experience the difference and benefits of LTE, while on the go,” said Jane Basas, head of the Prepaid Business Group of Smart.
The telecommunication firm launched its first commercial LTE services in 2012, providing data connectivity speeds of up to 42 megabytes per second (Mbps) available to its postpaid mobile phone and broadband subscribers.
In April this year, Smart announced the availability of the first prepaid LTE SIMs for broadband devices such as dongles and tablets.
“We can now give our prepaid subscribers the complete package—allowing them to have ‘lightning-fast’ mobile Internet connectivity, while being able to call and text—all through one SIM,” Basas said.
With more than 57 million mobile subscribers, Smart currently has the biggest share in the country’s predominantly prepaid mobile market.
Prepaid LTE SIM
The company said that with the launch of the Smart Prepaid LTE SIM, it expects to expand its LTE service to the vast majority of its subscriber base by offering affordable LTE bucket offerings, and soon bundling the prepaid service with entry and mid-level LTE-capable handsets.
Existing Smart subscribers can also upgrade to LTE by purchasing the LTE SIM at Smart Stores, while retaining their old mobile number.
The Smart Prepaid LTE SIM for mobile phones is available in two variants—the dual-cut micro SIM for LTE-capable handsets with regular or micro SIM slots, which is priced at P40 and includes 35 free SMS to any network, while the nano SIM for the iPhone 5 which is priced at P100 includes P50 load.
With Smart’s ongoing network expansion, Smart LTE is now available in over a thousand sites spread across almost 180 cities and municipalities across the country.
Smart’s expanded LTE coverage is supported by over 71,000 kilometers of total fiber footprint, inclusive of 7,200 kilometers of international submarine fiber and over 4,000 kilometers of domestic submarine fiber, enabling it and its parent company PLDT to deliver the best data services at the speed of light.
“With the LTE service being on prepaid, it will be easier for these users to upgrade SIMs and unlock the full potential of their devices,” Basas said.
Rosalie C. Periabras