Smart free Internet offer extends to February 5

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Smart free Internet offer extends to February 5
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company assures subscribers that it is ready to absorb the surge in free mobile Internet usage

MANILA, Philippines – Prepaid subscribers of Smart, Talk ’N Text, and Sun Cellular can now continue using the free mobile Internet service until Thursday, February 5 as the networks’ parent company Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) extended anew the popular promo.

Prepaid subscribers of the PLDT group can use their phone’s data connection for up to 30 megabyte (MB) per day.

“The positive response to the Smart Free Internet promo – a real game-changer in the industry in that it introduced mobile Internet to more people than ever before – gave us a very strong indication of Filipinos’ propensity for mobile data use,” said Charles Lim, head of wireless consumer business at Smart Communications and Sun Cellular.

PLDT first announced the free mobile Internet promo in September last year, for a limited run of until November 30.

Then as rival Globe Telecom revived its free Facebook offer in October, PLDT further extended the free Internet promo to January 5 this new year.

To absorb the growing demand for free Internet, Lim said the network assures its subscribers that its infrastructure is ready for the surge in mobile data traffic this year.

From January to September 2014, mobile data traffic surged 112% to 27,000 terabytes (TB) from 13,000 TB in the same period in 2013 as over a fourth of the 69 million subscribers of Smart and Sun Cellular are already using smartphones.

PLDT said it would need higher capital expenditures (CAPEX) to absorb the increased demand for free mobile Internet data.

PLDT raised its capital expenditures (CAPEX) to P34.5 billion ($766.32 million*) as it moves from its legacy business that is running less profitable for years.

Instead, it would heavily invest in expanding its fiber footprint, Long Term Expansion (LTE) expansion, and network operational efficiency.

London-based Fitch Ratings also forecasted that telecommunication companies in the Philippines will incur higher capex but lower profits this year due to heavy spending on fiber networks to cope with fast growing demand for data services. –


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