Through simple yet powerful services, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), wireless arm of the country’s largest integrated telco PLDT, has powered the Filipinos’ GIGA Life in 2020, despite the challenges of COVID-19.
“To remain relevant to our customers, we make sure that in this complex world, where information and content abound, and life is literally lived through the palm of people’s hands, we empower the digital lives of our consumers in the simplest way possible,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart Communications President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer.
“On top of keeping everyone connected, we enable the passion points of every Filipino, which in my book is real empowerment despite the crisis,” he added. “Passion points ground the human brain and heart. Empowering our customers’ passions has allowed us to be part of their growth and healing.”
GigaLife App, new GIGA offers
This year, Smart launched its GigaLife App for prepaid and postpaid subscribers to enable them to manage their subscriptions more seamlessly.
“Over the past months, we have been working hard to reinforce our vision of the GIGA Life for Filipinos – that is, enabling everyone with simple and easy access to their digital pursuits and passions,” said Jane J. Basas, Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart. "At the heart of this ambition is the GigaLife App, which will power the GIGA Life of our customers by aggregating their digital life pillars, underpinned by our superior data network."
To further support their customers' passions, Smart expanded its current suite of GIGA offers by launching GIGA Pro, Smart’s biggest prepaid data pack for heavy data users; GIGA Work and GIGA Study, which provide data allocations for work collaboration tools and learning apps, specifically tailored for employees’ online productivity needs and students’ online education needs; and GIGA K-Video, which allows Smart prepaid subscribers to enjoy ad-free streaming and unlimited downloads of K-dramas via the VIU Premium video streaming platform.
“We started with GIGA Video, GIGA Stories, GIGA Music, and GIGA Games, which came with data dedicated for their passions, plus open access data for other online activities. These became our staple prepaid offers, and our success with these products has made us realize an important truth about Filipino consumers: we don’t want fluff and superficial offers; we just want things simple and clear,” said Basas. “We have come a long way from our first suite of GIGA offers, and you can rely on us to continue innovating and developing relevant services to suit your lifestyle needs and passions. Because ultimately, we want you to live the GIGA life."
A rewarding GIGA life with GigaPoints
Recently, Smart unveiled its new GigaPoints rewards program, which offers a simpler and easier way to earn, accumulate, and redeem exclusive treats through the GigaLife App.
Prepaid subscribers of Smart and TNT can start earning GigaPoints with a minimum Php99 spend on top-ups or by registering to their favorite GIGA promos. On the other hand, Smart Postpaid subscribers can earn GigaPoints monthly by simply paying their bill on time.
Smart and TNT subscribers can also earn more GigaPoints via the GigaLife App by linking their other accounts. Very soon, they will also be able to earn more points for joining special events and promos.
Each GigaPoint is equivalent to Php1, and subscribers can use their accumulated GigaPoints to redeem rewards on GigaLife App’s Rewards Marketplace section.
Subscribers can use their GigaPoints to conveniently redeem data promos, such as GIGA Video, GIGA Stories, GIGA Games, and GIGA Pro. These data offers also come at face value rates when redeemed with GigaPoints. For example, subscribers can redeem GIGA Video 50 with just 50 GigaPoints.
Aside from redeeming data promos, subscribers will also soon be able to use their GigaPoints to redeem exclusive perks and vouchers from Smart’s partner lifestyle stores and services.
The new GigaPoints rewards program builds on the innovative features of the recently launched GigaLife App, which offers a simple, easy, and smart way for subscribers to manage their digital lifestyle.
To celebrate the season of giving, Smart also recently launched this year’s GigaMania, which offers over P30 million worth of prizes and weekly freebies for lucky Smart and TNT customers nationwide via the GigaLife App.
GigaMania is open to all Smart and TNT subscribers from December 2020 to April 2021. To join, simply download the GigaLife App, register to GigaMania, and subscribe to GIGA offers or pay your postpaid bill through the app to earn and accumulate GigaPoints.
Each GigaPoint earned during the promo period corresponds to a GigaMania raffle entry. Prizes include smartphones, free data and P1 million cash during the weekly draws. One lucky subscriber will also take home P10 million cash during the grand draw. In all, a total of 21 new GigaMania millionaires at the end of the promo will usher in 2021.
On top of the GIGA prizes, 72 million prepaid subscribers of Smart and TNT can also enjoy instant weekly freebies and treats in the form of data, calls and texts just by having the GigaLife App.
GigaFest virtual events
In addition to introducing better innovations and making their products and services simpler and easier to use, Smart has also maximized its LTE network to deliver a variety of online events to its subscribers across the country this year.
With GigaFest, Smart has showcased world-class entertainment, e-sports tournaments, and other digital innovations. This includes live events featuring local and international artists such as Dua Lipa’s Studio 2054 Digital Concert and Ellie Goulding's The Brightest Blue Experience Online, KCON:TACT 2020 virtual festival, 808 Land, iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Jingle Ball, the much-anticipated 2020 Mnet ASIAN MUSIC AWARDS (2020 MAMA), Asia’s biggest awards ceremony, and the New Year Countdown at the Grand Hyatt with the Green Ball Drop.
These customer-centric initiatives have encouraged stronger data adoption and use, boosting PLDT’s Consumer Wireless Business, which includes consumer sales of its Smart and TNT mobile brands, and which registered record-high revenues in the first nine months of the year.
Driving record highs
Smart also posted a record number of active data users on its mobile network, as well as six consecutive quarters of gaining wireless market share, making Smart number one in data users. Mobile data traffic, on the other hand, nearly doubled to 2,114 petabytes in the first nine months of 2020, compared to a year ago. Out of PLDT's consolidated service revenues in the first nine months, 72% is from data and broadband. Of this, about half or P45.2 billion is from mobile internet, registering a 31-percent increase year-on-year.
Supporting this level of performance are PLDT-Smart’s integrated fixed and wireless networks. In 2020, PLDT and Smart further accelerated the rollout of their fixed and wireless networks to deliver better customer service. PLDT's fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country, is now at more than 422,000 kilometers as of November. This fiber infrastructure supports Smart's mobile networks, which now cover 96% of the population and are available in 95% of cities and municipalities. As of November, Smart has also increased the number of its base stations to over 58,000, while also rolling out additional 5G base stations as it accelerates its 5G commercial services nationwide.
The PLDT Group's investments in capital expenditures have totaled Php 260 billion from 2015 to 2019. PLDT’s expansion efforts and investments helped the Group cope with sustained growth in data traffic when COVID-19 community quarantines commenced in March. PLDT is anticipating capex of at least P70 billion for 2020.
“With the surge in demand for data, we are prepared to invest between Php 88 billion and Php 92 billion [in 2021] to meet the requirements of all our mobile and fixed line customers. Providing good customer experience remains to be our 'North Star', as we aim to elevate PLDT and Smart to the level of global operators,” Panlilio said.