HK Presence for Smart and PLDT Global

Manila Bulletin, September 8, 2004 | Go to article overview

HK Presence for Smart and PLDT Global


Byline: lynda b. valencia

HONGKONG Telecom giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) broke into the regional market, with the service availability of a new mobile phone service here last August 29, 2004.

Capitalizing on the recent success of the Smart Padala innovation, Smart in collaboration with PLDT Global initiative, has stepped up efforts to further develop and directly serve the promising Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) market.

While Smart Padala is the worlds first text-based remittance service, an even newer service gives OFWS in HK a Smart mobile phone.

This is 1528 Smart, giving Filipinos in HK cheaper text messaging, voice calls rates and innovative services.

1528 Smart is a partnership between Smart Communications, Inc, PLDT Global, the telecoms giant international consumer arm and HK-based mobile carrier HK CSL.

PLDT and Smart chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said PLDT plans similar service to Filipinos working in Europe and the United States.

Pangilinan said that there is an estimated 87 percent of some 180,000 OFWs living in HK, or more than 150,000 own mobile phones, and the majority of these mobile phone subscribers are on prepaid subscription.

The company expects to capture a big share of the market with the 1528 Smart, the same way that it dominates the market in the Philippines.

"It effectively establishes a virtual presence of Smart and PLDT Global in HK, a historic OFW bastion," said Pangilinan.

He added, "Smart together with PLDT Global bring to the table a wide array of strengths and expertise in forging future international partnerships. Smart leads the Philippine wireless market with its forte in brand building and its innovations in mobile commerce particularly in micro payments for prepaid top ups and consumer cash remittances which include Smart Money, Smart Load, Smart PasaLoad and Smart Padala. …

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