Smart extends free Internet promo

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Smart Communications Inc., the wireless arm of dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), has extended its Free Internet promo by two more weeks.

In its Twitter account @SMARTCares, Smart announced that the Free Internet promo has been extended until March 15 after expiring yesterday.

However, the extension only covers prepaid subscribers of Smart and Talk N’ Text, while subscribers of Sun Cellular would no longer be covered by  Internet promo.

“The Free Internet is available until March 15 for Smart prepaid and Talk N’ Text subscribers only,” Smart said in its Twitter account.

This is the fourth time that the promo has been extended. The promo was launched last Sept. 26, covering postpaid subscribers and was supposed to expire last Nov. 30.

However, the promo was expanded last Oct. 2 to cover all 69 million Smart, Talk ‘N’ Text and Sun Cellular subscribers nationwide and the deadline was extended to Jan. 5 and then to Feb. 5. The deadline was extended further to Feb. 28 and now to March 15.

Last Feb. 5, Smart and Sun Cellular executive vice president and head of the wireless consumer business Charles Lim announced that the Free Internet promo had been extended and expanded to include video streaming.

“We are excited to expand the Smart Free Internet promo to include video streaming, since we all know how much Filipinos enjoy watching videos online. This is still part of the formula at the core of our ‘Internet for All’ message – making the Internet fun, fast, and worry-free for our subscribers,” Lim said earlier.

This time, subscribers could enjoy watching videos on Youtube, Vimeo, or Daily Motion, browse through and post on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, visit their favorites websites, or search on Google and Wikipedia.

Likewise, users could also use navigation tools like Waze and Google Maps, book a cab or limo service via Easy Taxi and Uber, or use traffic info sites such as the MMDA’s and InterAksyon’s without incurring data charges.

Smart has the largest and most advanced network in the country with a total of 24,938 cellular/broadband base stations, including 9,946 active 4G/HSPA+/Long-Term Evolution (LTE) base stations, supported by more than 90,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables nationwide.

Mobile data traffic surged by 112 percent to 27,000 terabytes in the first nine months of 2014 from 13,000 terabytes in the same period in 2013 as over a fourth of the 69 million subscribers of Smart and Sun Cellular are already using smartphones.

The PLDT Group has fully modernized and expanded its network to cope with the growing demand for data usage.

The PLDT Group earlier decided to raise its capital expenditure last year to P34.5 billion, P2.5 billion higher compared to the original budget of P32 billion.

For this year, PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan has said the company would spend more for capital expenditure amid the expected tougher competition in the capital-intensive telecommunication industry.

Pangilinan pointed out that the bulk of the amount would be used to expand the number of its cellular sites nationwide while some would be invested for fixed lines as well as broadband and information technology (IT) businesses.

As of end-September 2014, the PLDT Group had a subscriber base of 75 million comprising 69 million wireless subscribers, 3.7 million broadband subscribers and 2.2 million fixed line subscribers.











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