Smart in Philippines Launching Sponsored Data Program

PLDT,through its mobile subsidiary Smart Communications, is launching a sponsored data service initially available to subscribers of Talk ‘N Text, the value brand of Smart, as well as Sun Cellular, a wireless unit of PLDT. Smart is the Philippines' leading wireless services provider with 54 million subscribers.


It is possible that the Philippines and India could be moving in opposite directions where it comes to zero rating and sponsored data. Philippines mobile operators already have proff that zero rating lifts use of mobile Internet.


In India, regulators might bar the practice, despite its apparent usefulness.


PLDT saw  mobile Internet revenues increase 19 percent year-over-year in the to P2.2 first quarter of 2015, based on free access programs.


“The uplift of our mobile Internet revenues underscores the success of our Free Internet offer,” said PLDT and Smart president and chief executive officer Napoleon L. Nazareno.


From September 2014 to February 2015, Smart ran a “Free Internet” promotion giving Smart, Sun Cellular, and Talk ‘N Text subscribers 30 MB of free data per day.


Over six million mobile phone subscribers of Smart, Sun, and Talk ‘N Text signed up for the promo, 70 percent of whom were first-time mobile Internet users.


Mobile data usage in the Smart network surged by 188 percent in the first quarter of 2015.


Subscribers now get 30 MB of free Internet access per day whenever they buy prepaid packages for voice and text messaging.


The sponsored data service is powered by Aquto, which supplies a platform for giving mobile consumers  free access to mobile data whose usage is sponsored by third-party app publishers, advertisers and marketers.  

PLDT is Aquto’s first customer in Asia and also is used by AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.  
SPECTRUM FUTURES
The M Hotel Singapore  |  10-11 September 2015

"Zero rating" and "sponsored data" have boosted Internet use in the Philippines. But some want to ban its use. Is that a good idea?


Spectrum Futures 2015 will examine zero rating, sponsored data, business models and other accelerators or roadblocks standing in the way of connecting billions of new cusotmers to the Internet in 10 years.

Spectrum Futures 2015will bring together regulators and service providers from throughout the Asia-Pacific region to allow the exchange of ideas about key policies to help emerging markets like India, the Phillipines, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar connect to their populations to the Internet within the next decade.
Join the conversation at Spectrum Futures 2015.


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