Smart Communications posts double-digit subscriber growth last year

Published by rudy Date posted on January 3, 2009

AMID a tight competition and the economic slowdown, Smart Communications Inc. reported a double-digit growth in subscriber base, boosted by cheap promotional offerings.

The country’s leading mobile- phone provider said subscriber base rose to 35 million as of end-2008, up by 16 percent compared with last year.

Smart said the growth in the cellular business was bolstered by new low-cost service offerings that were developed, based on the usage patterns of subscribers.

Napoleon Nazareno, Smart president and chief executive, said the company has maintained its leadership in the mobile-phone industry through innovative product offerings based on strategic market.

“We call it ‘slicing and dicing’ the market and the objective is to address the needs of different segments of our subscriber base.”

Orlando Vea, Smart chief wireless advisor said, “We complemented our initiatives in our mainstream business by introducing mobile broadband services that are laying the foundation for our future growth. This is part of our vision of promoting Internet for all as a means of further improving the lives of Filipinos.”

In the last quarter of 2008, Smart also boosted its postpaid business by introducing Smart

Gold Lite, which offers an affordable voice call rate of P2 per minute for Smart-to-Smart calls.

After building its fixed wireless Internet service, Smart also said that the company is now developing its mobile Internet business.

In 2008, it launched postpaid and prepaid Smart Bro mobile Internet services using USB modem devices. By year-end, this was the fastest-growing segment of the wireless broadband business.

“Offering USB plug it devices attached to laptops is the first step in developing the mobile broadband business. Soon, you will see more compelling applications offered via cellular handsets. This will usher in the mobile broadband era where the mobile phone is the preferred Internet access device for millions of Filipinos. This will make Internet for All possible,” Vea said.

Smart’s current drive to make broadband Internet more widely available and accessible to

Filipinos aims to replicate what the company helped achieve for its mobile phone business. –Darwin G. Amojelar, Manila Times

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