Filipino 3G operator Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprise (CURE), an affiliate of PLDT-owned Smart Communications, launched a W-CDMA with HSDPA cellular service in the country on Saturday under the banner RED Mobile. The service, the fourth UMTS offering in the country to date, is a pre-paid affair which has set out its stall to target the lower-value demographic currently being pursued by rival operator Sun Cellular – via low-cost calls, texts and mobile internet access. RED Mobile’s introductory rates are PHP0.50 (USD0.01) per minute for on-net voice or video calls and SMS/MMS. Off-net rates are charged at PHP6.50 per minute, although CURE has yet to strike interconnect deals with other operators for picture messages.
The new service is essentially a relaunch of CURE following its acquisition by Smart Communications. It first entered the market in May as uMobile, offering what it claimed was Asia’s first ad-based mobile service.