Smart Communications, the mobile arm of Filipino giant PLDT, has launched the country’s first pre-paid 4G tariff plans for mobile phones. In 2012 Smart Communications inaugurated Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile services for post-paid and broadband subscribers, offering maximum data downloads of 42Mbps, and in April this year added its first pre-paid LTE SIMs for dongles and tablets. Its latest move to offer mobile phone-based plans is designed to take LTE into the country’s popular pay-as-you-go segment, which accounts for the vast majority of the Philippines’ 107 million strong mobile segment. Smart currently commands around 57 million cellular users – the vast majority of which are pre-pay.
Smart is offering a range of LTE-supported handsets in the offer, including the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia V, Nokia Lumia 920, Huawei Ascend D1 and ZTE 82, and users can sign up for one-day, weekly or monthly ‘unlimited’ downloads costing from PHP50 (USD1.15, per 24hrs), rising to PHP299 (seven-day) and PHP995 (per month). Jane Basas, head of Smart’s prepaid business group, says that the cellco’s LTE network is now available in over 1,000 locations across 180 cities and municipalities, including the province of Rizal, and areas in North Luzon, South Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Smart LTE also covers all 17 cities and municipalities of Caloocan, Las Pinas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Pateros, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela.