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Smart pushes ‘Internet for All’ Filipinos!

Wireless services leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) says it is stepping up efforts to make broadband technology and the Internet accessible to more Filipinos, citing a recent report that showed the positive effect of broadband adoption on the Philippine economy. In a report titled “The State of Broadband 2012: Achieving Digital Inclusion for All,” the United Nations agency Broadband Commission for Digital Development said mobile broadband usage accounted for 6.9 percent of the growth in Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) in the past decade.

“Mobile broadband made such a contribution to the country’s economy, even though only 3.4 percent of Filipinos had mobile Internet subscriptions last year. Imagine how significant its impact would be if we were able to improve mobile broadband penetration. This is why Smart continues to launch accessible, reliable, and state-of-the-art broadband products and services,” said Smart Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando Vea.

Fiber advantage

To this end, Smart said it is banking on its ‘fiber advantage.’ “Fiber optic networks are absolutely vital if you want to provide reliable, advanced communication services.  The PLDT Group has the most extensive and most modern fiber optic network in the country,” said Rolando G. Peña, head of network and IP systems of Smart and PLDT.

Smart and parent company PLDT currently have about 54,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable rolled out nationwide. Working with Digitel and Sun Cellular, the PLDT Group is adding more.

Already, fiber networks connect most of Smart’s base stations in Metro Manila and a growing number elsewhere in the country. These enable Smart to carry increasingly large volumes of voice calls and SMS more reliably, and to provide high-speed data services like Long Term Evolution (LTE).

Smart is the first and only telco which offers commercial, multiband LTE services in the country. It offers dongle-bundled LTE plans that allow unlimited internet surfing at speeds of up to 42 Mbps.

Smart also recently introduced the Smart LTE Pocket WiFi, which allows people to enjoy LTE speeds on any Wi-Fi-enabled device.

“This portable Wi-Fi router brings the power of LTE closer to Filipinos who do not have LTE-compatible devices, and even to non-Smart subscribers,” Vea said.

Broadband as productivity booster
Smart is also coming up with special LTE plans for enterprise customers.

“We assure our enterprise customers that we will provide Smart LTE services that will meet their sophisticated and expansive broadband needs,” said Jovy Hernandez, head of PLDT ALPHA Enterprise and of Smart Enterprise Marketing.

According to a 2012 World Bank study, broadband has the potential to transform an economy when used by businesses, governments, and citizens in a way that increases productivity.

One of the biggest broadband users in the Philippines is the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry, which contributed 5.4 percent of the country’s GDP in 2011. The Department of Science and Technology said the figure is estimated to hit 8.6 percent by 2016.

The IT-BPO industry contributed about $11 billion in export revenues, 640,000 direct jobs, and around 1.5 million indirect jobs to the Philippine economy in 2011, the DOST said.

“A growing body of evidence shows that broadband use has tremendous positive effects not only on Filipinos as individual consumers, but also on the country’s overall economic status. This is why Smart has come up with a superior and extensive lineup of broadband products and services,” Vea said.

Smart’s mobile broadband solutions include the 3G High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) Smart Starter Plug-It, Smart Power Plug-It, and Smart Pocket WiFi which offer speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps.

It also has the 4G HSPA+ Smart Rocket Plug-It and Smart Rocket WiFi, which are capable of speeds of up to 12 Mbps and 20 Mbps, respectively.

For postpaid and prepaid smartphone users, Smart has a number of time- and volume-based data packages such as UnliSurf and Always On, which are available for as low as P10 a day.

Note: Starting January 31, 2013, Smart LTE Plans 1749 and 3500 will have data caps of 10 GB and 21 GB, respectively.

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