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PLDT, Smart are PH’s fastest internet providers, declares Ookla

PLDT, Smart are PH’s fastest internet providers, declares Ookla

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  • PLDT and Smart tops Ookla Speedtest Awards (Q3-Q4 2018) in PH
  • In terms of mobile internet, Smart speeds-ahead over its notorious rival Globe
  • PLDT and Smart senior VP for network planning and engineering Mario Tamayo says their efforts to improve internet experience in PH are paying off by the award given to them

Independent internet speed-testing firm Ookla announced that PLDT, Inc. and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. kept the top spot as the fastest fixed and mobile network in the country.

According to Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis, in their third to fourth quarter 2018 ranking of fixed-line internet service providers, PLDT came out on top with download speeds of up to 52.28 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 55.95 Mbps.

Other fixed line providers also recorded higher speed scores compared to the first two quarters of last year. Just behind PLDT was Sky with a speed score of 11.23 from 10.89, followed by SmartBro with 10.99 from 9.79, and Globe Telecom, Inc. with 9.36 from 6.58.

Ookla also runs Speedtest, a service that allows users to test the speed of their internet connection.

In terms of mobile internet, Smart toppled its known rival Globe with an average download speed of 13.85 Mbps and upload speed of 6.35 Mbps while Globe, on the other hand, had an average download speed of 11.36 Mbps and upload speed of 4.94 Mbps.

PLDT and Smart also had the lowest latency or lag according to the report by the said internet speed surveyor.

Mario Tamayo, PLDT and Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering proudly said, “This award is proof that our continued investments in our network to improve the mobile internet experience of our customers across the country are paying off.”

“This recognition is testament to (PLDT’s and Smart’s) exceptional performance in Q3-Q4 based on Ookla’s rigorous analysis of consumer-initiated tests taken with Speedtest,” said Ookla executive vice-president Jamie Steven, which was quoted in a statement by PLDT over the weekend.

PLDT is said to be spending an estimated $5 billion from 2016 to 2020 to enhance and expand its fixed and wireless networks. In 2018, its capital expenditure reached P58 billion and this year, the company is allocating at P70 billion for capital expenditure.

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GMA Network partners with PLDT-Smart for digital TV upgrade

GMA Network partners with PLDT-Smart for digital TV upgrade

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  • GMA and PLDT-Smart entered into a partnership.
  • It is said to power GMA’s planned digital transformation and innovation.

GMA Network, Inc. / GMA News Media, Inc. (NMI) has partnered up with PLDS-Smart Communications, Inc. This is set to improve the television viewing experience in the Philippines.

READ: GMA Network to finally release Digital TV device in few months

The signing was held on Wednesday, January 9, at Makati City. The companies came up with a technology, content, and distribution agreement that will start the launch of innovations which is set to power the network’s digital transformation.

According to GMA Network’s Chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon, they are embracing digital with open arms.

“By riding the wave of disruption with PLDT and Smart as partners, we will not only upgrade the quality of content we are producing but we are also setting the stage for a new age of digital television.”

On the other hand, PLDT and Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel Pangilinan stated, “As we transform our business from being a legacy telco into the premier and most trusted digital enabler in the country, this partnership will enable us to power GMA’s digital pivot and help deliver to our millions of fixed and wireless subscribers GMA 7’s unique and compelling content, as well as exciting new digital experiences to more Filipino families.”

Several executives of GMA Network and PLDT-Smart Communications were also present at the signing.

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SMC sells telco assets to PLDT-Smart, Globe

SMC sells telco assets to PLDT-Smart, Globe

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Amid the growing calls for better Internet services in the country, telecommunications giants Philippine Long Distance Telecommunications (PLDT) and Globe Telecom will jointly purchase the telecommunications assets of San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

The landmark deal among the telcos aims to bring faster internet speeds to mobile phone users in the coming months.

SMC sold its telco assets to PLDT and Globe for about P70 billion on Monday, May 30.

During a briefing in Makati City, PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told the media: “SMC wanted to divest from telco business while we were keen on acquiring it. It was just mutual. Plan is to divest our entire stake in Beacon, we’re talking to certain private equity funds for remaining 25%.”

The acquisition deal, which will give the two telco giants access to more radio frequencies particularly the 700MHz, comes after the collapse of talks between SMC and Australian telecom Telstra Corporation last March. A return of certain frequencies to the government, which is also part of the deal, will also allow a third competitor to join the market.

SMC believes that the deal will be most beneficial for consumers since PLDT and Globe would be able to maximize the assets much faster.

In a statement, SMC President and COO Ramon Ang said: “This is a sacrifice we have to make to finally unlock the full potential of our high-quality, mobile broadband spectrum faster and allow consumers access to its benefits through the combined resources, network and expertise of the two carriers.”

PLDT, which would increase its capital expenditure by $100 million in 2016 and 2017, will invest in the 700-MHz spectrum frequency by building more cell sites in rural areas. This particular frequency has wider coverage, reaches indoor areas better, and is more cost-efficient to operate.

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Smart Expands Music Portfolio with Launch of Deezer offers

Smart Expands Music Portfolio with Launch of Deezer offers

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Wireless services leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is broadening its music portfolio with the introduction of premium bundles for global music-streaming service Deezer, strengthening its foothold in the music space as it eyes to capture majority of the music listening market in the Philippines.

The announcement of the Deezer bundles complements Smart’s homegrown music service SPINNR, which has revolutionized the music consumption habits of Filipinos by offering song downloads for as low as Php10 and music streaming for just Php2.50 per day, roughly equivalent to the value of three text messages.

“Deezer completes Smart’s music portfolio as we strive to provide the complete music experience to all kinds of users,” said Charles A. Lim, EVP and Head of the Wireless Consumer Division at Smart.

“SPINNR provides the total music experience to our subscribers with streaming and downloads of all the latest and hottest songs, the most anticipated concert events, meet-and-greets with their favorite artists and exclusive access to official merchandise. Deezer, on the other hand, provides music streaming with a large catalog of 30 million songs and the widest availability in more than 100 countries around the world,” Lim added.

Vast potential. Lim said there is vast potential in the music space considering the proliferation of new types of mobile devices in the Philippines, considered the fastest-growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia by a GfK Asia study in 2012.

“With smartphone adoption still expected to jump exponentially in the coming months, more users will gain access to Internet-enabled devices capable of music streaming, and Smart is the only mobile provider that will have a full lineup of music services ready for them,” Lim added.

Smart also has the distinct advantage in providing the best music-streaming experience to all subscribers with its highly modernized network—completed in 2012—that is capable of delivering superfast mobile Internet to all users nationwide.

Changing behavior. Even though streaming is still a relatively new way of consuming music in the Philippines, Smart’s Head of Innovation and Product Development Mellissa Limcaoco said they’re seeing more and more subscribers jumping into the music streaming bandwagon.

“Just a few years ago, music streaming was not a familiar concept among most Filipino music lovers. With SPINNR, Smart has paved the way for more fans to affordably enjoy music anytime, anywhere without worrying about the limited storage space on their mobile devices,” Limcaoco said.

She added that with the introduction of Deezer to its music portfolio, Smart expects music streaming to be more pervasive as it hopes to address the varied tastes of music fans nationwide.

“The high smartphone penetration in Philippines means that music lovers are taking their world, and their music, on the go,” said Steven Frank, Business Development Manager for Deezer in Asia Pacific. “With over 30 million tracks in our catalog, Philippine music fans can enjoy their favorite songs and discover new music from international, Asian or OPM artists with high-speed Internet connection by Smart, no matter where they are.”

Premium offers. Deezer offers, with over 30 million songs and powerful music discovery solutions, will initially be available to Smart Postpaid subscribers through Unlisurf Premium Plans starting at just P1,175 a month, bundled with the year’s latest smartphones and unlimited LTE surfing.

Users, for example, can get the Sony Xperia M2 at Unlisurf Premium Plan 1175, with unlimited mobile surfing, free calls and texts, and a Deezer Premium+ subscription already included in the package. Other phones available include the Nokia Lumia 1020 at Plan 1675; and the Sony Xperia Z2 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S5 at Plan 2175.

As an exclusive perk to early subscribers, Smart will be giving those who sign up for any of the Unlisurf Premium Plans a P175 bill rebate for six months.

Existing Postpaid subscribers, meanwhile, can take advantage of the various Deezer Music Packs that come with a free Deezer Premium+ subscription. These include Deezer Daily for Php25 (1-day Deezer access plus 25 SMS and 10MB of mobile data for Deezer streaming), Deezer Weekly for Php125 (7-day Deezer access plus 125 SMS, and 50MB of mobile data for Deezer streaming), and Deezer Monthly for P250 (30-day Deezer access plus 250 SMS, and 100MB of mobile data for Deezer streaming).

Offers for Smart Prepaid subscribers will be announced soon. For more information on Smart’s Deezer offers, visit smart.com.ph/Deezer.

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