Enriching the Digital Experience
The PLDT Group is enriching the digital life of Filipinos like never before with innovative products and services for home, enterprises, and individual customers.
In line with its digital pivot, the parent company changed its name from “Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company” to “PLDT Inc.” to represent its decisive shift from being a telecommunications firm into a digital services provider.
Along with this brand identity change, PLDT adopted a new logo shaped like a triangle to represent its meaningful innovations, exceptional people, and reinvigorated mission to always delight its customers. The new logo also symbolizes the powerful convergence of PLDT and its wireless unit, Smart Communications, with both companies carrying the same triangle symbol.
BUILDING THE SMART HOME
PLDT is making Filipino homes safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable via its growing suite of Smart Home services which combine powerful connectivity with innovative products and services that provide peace of mind, rich entertainment, automation and converged communications.
PLDT Home offers the widest range of video content via live TV and video-on-demand. To accomplish this, the PLDT Group established partnerships with leading global and Philippine content providers and aggregators. These include leading US video streaming platform Roku Inc. for Internet TV; global internet television leader Netflix for an extensive library of award-winning TV and movie titles; e-commerce giant Amazon for online shopping; and iWant TV, the leading player in the over-the-top (OTT) content platform in the Philippines. These complement PLDT’s partnerships with iflix for Asian video-on-demand and Fox International Channels for live streaming and catch-up TV.
The entertainment suite at home also includes well-loved kid-friendly content like games and e-books via Disney through Telpad, sports through Fox Sports and NBA Premium HD via Cignal, and gaming with Steam. Subscribers also enjoy the benefits of compact access to information and entertainment through the most powerful PC in a stick – the TVolution Stick.
PLDT Home also enhanced its family security services by adding the Fam Zone, which enables parents to manage their children’s access to the Internet, and Smart Watch, which lets parents track the location of their children. It had earlier launched Fam Cam, the CCTV service that lets homeowners check and talk with their children at home while they are outside.
To provide customers converged fixed and mobile communications, PLDT HOME introduced in January 2016 the country’s first data sharing plan that allowed fixed line subscribers to share their data allocation with up to four Smart mobile phone lines bundled with the plan.
To deliver these communications and digital services, PLDT has accelerated the roll-out of its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) facilities, extending its reach to 2.8 million homes passed at the end of 2016 – the most extensive in the country. With the strength of fiber, PLDT can offer asymmetrical speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) to families nationwide.
PLDT also deployed advanced hybrid fiber technologies that can deliver fiber-fast broadband service through regular phone lines in buildings and residences in partnership with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. Called G.fast, this technology solution can provide data speeds per user of up to 600 to 700 megabit per second (Mbps), depending on the length of the local copper loop.
ENHANCED MOBILE SERVICES
In 2016, Smart Communications stepped up the roll out of its LTE and 3G networks to address the growing demand for mobile data services.
It launched a three-year program to expand LTE coverage to 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities by 2018. To support this effort, Smart began utilizing the 700 MHz and other radio frequency bands that it acquired access to as a result of PLDT’s participation in the acquisition of the telecom business of SMC.
Riding on this network enhancement program, Smart introduced more data and digital services. For example, it released the enhanced version of its My Smart application, allowing subscribers to manage their postpaid and prepaid accounts virtually anywhere, view their account usage in real-time, and buy load and add-ons directly on the app. The new app also provided easy access to content such as videos, music, daily live streaming of TV5 and Fox Sports. In August 2016, the Smart Life app streamed live and for free the 2016 Rio Olympics, bringing Filipinos closer to the world’s biggest sports event.
In partnership with MCA Music, Smart Music Live treated subscribers to a series of concerts including ones that featured Selena Gomez, Nathan Sykes, Autotelic, Up Dharma Down and Ely Buendia among others. Smart users were treated to tickets and meet and greet events.
In August 2016, Smart offered free access to the phenomenal hit game Pokemon GO, followed by free access to Snapchat app for subscribers. These treats aimed to introduce more subscribers to the digital lifestyle and enjoy the enhanced mobile experience offered by Smart.
In November 2016, Smart introduced Chat Abroad, the country’s first chat-only data roaming subscription, which allows Smart subscribers to stay connected in over 130 countries, via six top chat apps – Facebook Messenger, Line, Telegram, Viber, WeChat and WhatsApp – at a very affordable rate of only P150 per day.
Smart also launched Smart Travel WiFi, a pocket WiFi rental service that allows Smart and non-Smart users to enjoy and share mobile internet access across multiple gadgets in over 100 countries for as low as P390 per day.
For its prepaid customers, Smart introduced several offers that help them enjoy the digital lifestyle. Its leading data offer has been GigaSurf 50, which provides a 1 Gb data package plus 300 Mb for popular apps like iFlix, Spinnr and YouTube and Unli text to all networks. Other popular prepaid offers include ItsATropaTreat and Babad Apps.
Smart also continued to engage the digital Filipino youth with “Smart Launchpad,” a first-of-its-kind online talent search that aims to discover and nurture the next generation of YouTube content creators. From 1,537 entries, the top 100 advanced to the workshop where they were mentored by industry experts and top online stars. Three finalists were ultimately named the Next Big Pinoy Creators.
Smart’s value brand, TNT, also launched its new logo, brand ambassadors and theme song “It’s a Tropa Thing” in June 2016, expanding its target market to include the more tech-savvy, fun-loving and budget-conscious Filipino youth belonging to Generation Z.
For postpaid subscribers, Smart launched Giga Plans which offer up to ten times more than Smart’s previous data allocations, plus call and text credits, and a free subscription to their choice of value added services (VAS) such as iFlix, Spinnr, YouTube, and other streaming services. Sun Cellular, on the other hand, enhanced its data plans to include a free phone and tablet bundle, plus unlimited calls and texts to Sun, more text messages to other networks and higher data allocation for surfing.
In February 2016, Smart Bro signed a multi-year partnership with UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization, to bring the fast-growing sport closer to Filipinos through digital offers, exclusive experiences and promos.
Smart Bro also brought the BRO-kada, comprised of today’s favorite millennial celebrities, around the country to make data more accessible to its target market, offering the Prepaid Pocket WiFi and the iPad Mini 2 at affordable plans. It has also partnered with PLDT to offer the Pocket WiFi even in far-flung areas that can be served with the wireless broadband access that Smart Bro can provide.
In celebration of Independence Day, Smart offered free Viber and Viber Out calls to any mobile and landline here and select destinations abroad from June 12 to 14, 2016 – the first time in the world that it was offered free to mobile subscribers. The service allowed Smart subscribers to connect to any number in the Philippines, India, US, UK, Canada, Norway, Nigeria, Australia, China, Korea, Malaysia, Italy, Qatar, Singapore, Hong Kong Kuwait, Japan, Taiwan and Bahrain.
MOST TRUSTED PARTNER FOR ENTERPRISES
To bolster its leadership in the enterprise market, PLDT further expanded its network of world-class data centers. By March 2017, PLDT was operating nine data centers in different parts of the country including its biggest facility at the Makati central business district, another one in the Clark Freeport Zone, and one more in Davao City, the first data center in Mindanao. This brought the capacity of its data center network to over 9,000 racks, the largest in the country.
Alongside the Davao VITRO Data Center, PLDT set up its fourth cable landing station and a state-of-the-art Innovations Laboratory (Innolab) – the company’s seventh. These facilities will further support economic development in Mindanao.
To support its development of digital infrastructure, PLDT partnered with NTT Communications, the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group, strengthening the Company’s global network infrastructure by leveraging the 100Gbps connectivity powered by NTT Com’s Tier 1 Global IP backbone.
On the global front, PLDT launched a digital Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in Japan, its first in this country. It also established its newest global Point-of-Presence (PoP) in Australia, the sixth in PLDT’s fast growing global network which includes PoPs currently serving international customers in the U.S., U.K., Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong.
To help improve local internet traffic, PLDT established a bilateral IP peering arrangement with Globe Telecom that improves the internet experience of subscribers of both operators. This followed the setting up of a link to the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX) of the Department of Science and Technology in order to improve access to government websites.
Starting July 2016, the PLDT Group rolled-out carrier-grade Smart WiFi in key transport hubs, identified by the Department of Transportation, in line with the Group’s commitment to make available to the public internet at world-class speeds. Apart from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s biggest airport, Smart WiFi is now available in key airports all over the country, including Davao City’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport, Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental, Bacolod-Silay International Airport and Iloilo International Airport, Roxas Airport, Zamboanga Airport, Clark International Airport, Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport, Laoag International Airport, General Santos International Airport, Kalibo International Airport and Puerto Princesa International Airport.
Smart WiFi was also installed in the sea ports of Batangas City and Calapan in Mindoro. It is scheduled for rollout in more regional airports, sea ports, and the rail-based MRT and LRT lines 1 and 2 in Metro Manila and the rest of the country.
Innovating the way enterprises make their hotlines available to their customers, PLDT Enterprise introduced the PLDT #MyNumber to businesses that make hotlines easier to remember as well as accessible to customers nationwide.
Keeping close to its customers, the PLDT Group together with the International Data Corporation hosted “Digital Now,” a Philippine ICT Leadership Convention participated in by top Philippine companies to take a close look at how digital technologies are changing the rules of the game for their businesses. PLDT also named a new generation of digital business leaders under its #BeTheBoss Awards.
PLDT also launched Facebook at Work (now called Workplace), creating a virtual community for the over 17,000 employees of PLDT, Smart and Voyager Innovations. With its useful productivity features, Workplace enables employees to quickly connect and hold online meetings with colleagues using features like the Work Chat app.
Keeping its focus on eCommerce and ePayments, Smart subsidiary Voyager Innovations through its solutions such as TackThis! and Takatack are now supporting the online stores of leading companies like Philippine Airlines, Uber, MyPhone, ShopTV, and top fashion brands like Giordano and Folded & Hung. Its Takatack Rewards is enabling companies like Unionbank and a number of business outsourcing companies to engage their employees with rewards and benefits.
Voyager’s freenet is enabling companies to engage customers with free sponsored data access to their apps and websites while HATCH and VYGR deliver rich mobile marketing and digital advertising campaigns
Meanwhile, PayMaya remains the leading mobile payment application in the country, retaining its No.1 spot in Google Play Philippines since November 2015. PayMaya has entered into strategic collaboration with top global tech brands like Uber and Paypal to help sustain its growth. It also powered the Smart Mastercard, the prepaid payment card for Smart, Sun, and TNT subscribers.
PayMaya is also the leading mobile payments acquirer in the Philippines that allow leading companies to accept card payments through their mobile app, website, or physical point of sale terminals. Recently, it partnered with Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. to enable the first Mastercard contactless and beep card payments acceptance in the North Express Tollways and the Cavite Expressway.
GLOBAL AND NATIONAL AWARDS
In 2016, the PLDT Group’s efforts to serve its customers garnered numerous awards and recognitions from Philippine and global organizations.
Finance Asia Awards
Best Investor Relations #2 Philippines – PLDT
Best Corporate Social Responsibility #8 Philippines – PLDT
Most Committed to Corporate Governance #5 Philippines – PLDT
Best Managed Company #9 Philippines – PLDT
Institutional Investors’ Governance Award
For publicly-listed companies with US$10 billion and up of market cap –PLDT
Fortune’s Change the World List
36th in the list – Smart for Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP)
Institutional Investor Magazine’s 2016 All-Asia Executive Team
Best Investor Relations Program – Telecommunications (Sell-side) – PLDT
Best IR Professional – Melissa Vergel de Dios (#3)
(Overall and Sell-side) – PLDT
15th Annual CIO Asia Awards
Leadership category – PLDT Home (data sharing plan with Smart)
Included in the Roll of Honour list (1 of 5) – PLDT Home
Cards and Payments Asia Smart Awards
Best eCommerce Technology Provider – TackThis!
Asia Communications Awards
Best SME Service – TackThis!
Best SME Service Award – TackThis! E-Commerce Platform
Telecom Asia Awards
Best Mobile Security Innovation of the Year – LockByMobile
Customer Experience in Financial Services (CXFS) Asia Awards 2016
Best in Customer Experience award for mobile – FINTQ &
LANDBANK’s Mobile Loan Saver
9th Annual Emerging Payments Awards
Best online payments solution for enabling instant access to the
digital economy – PayMaya
Best New Digital Product of 2016 – PayMaya
Lafferty Global Awards 2016
Excellence in Lending – FINTQ’s LANDBANK Mobile Loan Saver
International Finance Magazine
Best Innovative Lending Platform – FINTQ’s Mobile Loan Saver
CEO Excel Award – Eric Alberto (as CEO of ePLDT)
PLDT’s annual Gabay Guro Grand Gathering for teacher-beneficiaries
PLDT Gabay Guro’s classroom donations for calamity-affected areas
PLDT ALPHA Enterprise’s Annual Track Day
PLDT ALPHA Enterprise’s HOT JOE Magazine
PLDT Smart SME Nation’s Bossing Ako campaign
PLDT Gabay Guro’s Teacher Training Program
PLDT Gabay Guro’s Crossover video
PLDT ALPHA Enterprise’s PLDT Pasasalamat Night:
A Glittering ALPHA Experience
Enterprise Customer Care Engagement campaign
PLDT Smart SME Nation’s Small Business Month campaign
Gold Awards for PR Tools: Multi-Media category
PLDT Alpha’s Hot Joe Magazine
PLDT Home’s Most Beautiful Connection video
Gold Awards for PR Programs
PLDT Home’s “Strengthening the Volleyball Community with
the Volley Friends”
PLDT Home’s “Gabay Guro 2016”
Silver Awards for PR Tools: Publications
PLDT Annual Report: Virtual is Real
PLDT Home Fibr Planner
Silver Awards for PR Tools: Multi-media Digital and Social Media
PLDT Alpha’s Customer Testimonials AVPs
PLDT Inc.’s “Changing the Way You Do Business.”
Silver Awards for PR Tools: Exhibits
PLDT Home’s Regine Series Nationwide Tour 2016
PLDT Gabay Guro’s Teacher Fest 2016
PLDT SME Nation’s Techmobile
Tech Island 2.0.
Silver Awards for PR Programs
PLDT Home’s Data Sharing
PLDT Home’s Smart Watch
PLDT Alpha for its Customer Engagement
PLDT SME Nation’s “Big Talks”
PLDT SME Nation’s “Be The Boss”
PLDT SME Nation’s “Make It Big”
International Conference on Education and Social Science in Singapore
Excellence Award for Best Presentation and Content
– PLDT for Infoteach Outreach Program
Business in the Community’s 2016 Annual Responsible Business Gala in London
UPS International Disaster Relief Award – Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF)
Asia Communication Awards in Singapore and the World Communications Awards in the United Kingdom
Social Contribution Award – Smart for Smart Technocart