Use of mobile data services rising
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The country’s huge pool of cell-phone users on prepaid accounts are showing signs of increased willingness to open up their wallets to avail themselves of mobile data services, Smart Communications said.
In a statement on Monday, the company said its exclusive “SmartNet” application, which could be used for free by the company’s subscribers, had been successful in enticing more users to access the Internet on their mobile devices.
Launched in September last year, SmartNet now has 320,000 users, translating to a growth of about 3,000 users per day, Smart head of products Gio Bacareza said in a statement.
“The rise in the number of users, however, is only part of SmartNet’s success as usage numbers show that it encourages mobile subscribers to visit sites outside of the SmartNet ecosystem,” Bacareza said.
He said Smart prepaid subscribers in particular were three times more likely to pay for data usage as they explored sites and services beyond SmartNet.
“The fact is, SmartNet is encouraging subscribers to maximize the potentials of their smart devices,” he said.
“This could potentially change the average Filipino’s attitude toward mobile Internet,” he said.
SmartNet debuted as the technology behind the Smart Netphone 701, launched in September last year. It enables users to chat with fellow SmartNet users, search and add contacts from the cloud, check on their favorite social feeds, post updates and read articles.
In February this year, it was made available for free on the Google Play! online app store for Android devices and pre-installed on Smart Android phones.
As part of its plan to reach more smartphone users, SmartNet has been made available recently on the Apple App Store, while a Windows edition has been submitted for approval to the Microsoft Windows Marketplace.
“We expect even better numbers once we open up SmartNet to more smartphone users,” Bacareza said. “Best of all, SmartNet services are free to use on Smart’s network until Dec. 31, 2012,” he said.—Paolo G. Montecillo
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