Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is teaming up with smartphone brand OPPO in ramping up LTE smartphone adoption among its customers with the OPPO A71 and Smart LTE SIM bundle.
Under the partnership, Smart and OPPO are offering the OPPO A71 phone kit bundle to Smart, TNT and Sun users at a discounted price to encourage more customers to upgrade their devices to LTE.
LTE allows customers to experience overall faster download and upload speeds that they can use to stream video, play mobile games, send files on-the-go and share photos on social media.
OPPO A71 is available for only P5,988, discounted from its original price of P6,990 while supplies last. It sports a 5.2” LCD display, a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, and is available in Champagne Gold and Blue. The OPPO A71 phone kit bundle comes with an LTE upgrade SIM for existing Smart, TNT and Sun customers. First-time LTE SIM upgraders also get a free 1GB open-access data valid for 3 days upon successful upgrade, which customers can use for accessing social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, chat apps like Viber, and games like Mobile Legends, for example.
LTE migration campaign
As Smart accelerates its LTE migration campaign, the number of LTE handsets now surpass the number of 3G phones on the Smart network. The number of new LTE handsets in the Smart network also rose by 75% in the first half of the year.
As a result, the average revenue per user (ARPU) among prepaid subscribers increased just three months after the SIM upgrades. As more subscribers upgrade to LTE, mobile traffic on Smart’s network also grew by 79% in the first half of the year, higher than the industry year-on-year growth of 54% for the same period.
Under Smart’s Level Up to LTE campaign, customers are encouraged to upgrade to an LTE-capable smartphone and an LTE SIM to be able to fully enjoy Smart’s upgraded networks.
All Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers can check if their SIMs are LTE-ready by texting SIMCHECK to 5832 for free. They can also check if their location is LTE ready by accessing smart.com.ph/LTE.
Alongside device partnerships, Smart is also continuously upgrading its network. As of end-June, Smart has installed over 3,900 new LTE base stations across the country, not only to expand LTE coverage but also to lay the ground for LTE-A, which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with capable smartphones. This puts the total count of LTE base stations at over 12,600.
Underpinning PLDT and Smart’s fixed and mobile network roll-out is the expansion of PLDT’s fiber optic transmission and distribution network. At 204,000 kilometers, PLDT’s fiber footprint, the most extensive in the country, also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity fiber connections for LTE base stations.
As a result of integrated network transformation efforts, PLDT and Smart were also recently cited for being the country’s fastest fixed and mobile networks for Q1-Q2 2018, respectively, by Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis.
Ookla said Smart achieved a Speed ScoreTM of 14.98, with average download speeds of 17.25 Mbps and average upload speeds of 7.65 Mbps, based on 2,118,464 user-initiated tests taken with Speedtest on LTE-capable devices in the Philippines for Q1-Q2.
Smart is on track to fulfilling its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to cover 90% of the country’s cities and municipalities with mobile data service by the end of this year.
PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation which is estimated to amount to US$ 5 billion from 2016 to 2020, with capital expenditures expected to reach P58 billion this year.
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