Smart launches PowerApp, Internet for P5
MANILA, Philippines - Earlier this year Mark Zuckerberg launched Internet.org an initiative aimed at making Internet access available to unconnected regions in the world.
Part of the challenge of bridging the digital divide is to make the Internet more affordable.
Nowadays, anyone in the Philippines can surf the Internet for a day for just P50. But while that seems relatively inexpensive, if you do the math, P1,500/month costs more than a monthly unlimited data plan.
Can telcos bring down the cost further?
Smart Communications, in partnership with mobile messaging company Chikka, address the question with the launch of a new product called the Smart PowerApp. The service aims to bring down the cost of Internet connectivity to P5.
“We want the Philippines to be connected all the time for the target price of 5 pesos and still remain profitable,” says Chikka Asia’s Chief Imagination Officer Dennis Mendiola.
It’s 5 pesos for 3 hours, not for a whole day (all-day access costs between P10-P30) but it’s a start. And for now, access to social networking apps is free for an indefinite promo period.
The service is only available to Smart and Talk & Text users and requires that users download the “Smart PowerApp” app from the Google Play Store.
Users can pick a plan that meets their needs, just social networking apps, just chat apps, just email, or all-access.
Unli Social: Free for One Day
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Waze, Path
Unli Email: P5 for 3 hours / P10 for 1 day
Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, Exchange
Unli Chat: P5 for 3 hours / P10 for 1 day
Chikka, Facebook Messenger, Line, Oist!, Viber, WeChat, WhatsApp, Kakao Talk, BBM
Unli Photo: P10 for 3 hours / P20 for 1 day
Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, Regram, Imgur, Tumblr
All Access: P15 for 3 hours / P30 for 1 day
All apps and sites except video streaming and bit torrent
No Missing Load
"Nakaw Load" (load theft) is a term coined by users to refer to prepaid credit being consumed behind the scenes. Mostly it’s a factor of apps connected to the Internet working in the background, using up prepaid credit in the process.
PowerApp prevents this. Only apps that correspond to your unli package will be able to connect to the Internet. So say you’re on an Unli Chat plan, only the specified chat apps (Line, Viber, WhatsApp etc) will work. Other apps like YouTube or Twitter won’t be able to connect to the Internet.
Once you’ve subscribed to a service, Unli Social for example - you will, at no extra charge, continue to get notifications even if your unli-plan has expired. It's their way of getting you to renew your unli-plan.
To remain profitable, video streaming will not work on any of the plans unless you purchase an optional Boost Plan. P5 will allow you to watch videos on YouTube or Facebook for 15 minutes. - Rappler.com