Wireless operator Smart Communications posted an unprecedented 69.2-percent increase in mobile data revenues for the first nine months of 2014 versus the same period last year as more of its subscribers are using Web-enabled smartphones to access the mobile Internet.
Smart’s mobile Internet revenues jumped to P5.73 billion for the period compared with just P3.39 billion last year, the telco said, as it introduced smartphone offers and mobile data packages that proved attractive to consumers.
As of the third quarter of 2014, over a fourth of Smart and Sun Cellular’s combined over 69 million subscribers are already using smartphones that are optimized for accessing content-rich apps and websites on the go.
“Our subscribers are already seeing the benefit of unlocking the power of their smartphones by using their devices to surf the Internet,” said Charles Lim, EVP and wireless consumer division head at Smart and Sun.
“And with encouraging results from our Smart Free Internet promo, we see subscribers’ mobile Internet usage further increasing by year-end, and well into 2015.”
Aside from the Smart Free Internet promo, Smart and Sun have also introduced data packages in the market, starting with the low-priced PisoNet (P1 for 10 minutes of mobile Internet) and turnkey services such as PowerApp that provide affordable access to mobile app bundles for an always-on mobile Internet experience.
Overall, Smart and Sun subscribers have contributed to a robust 112-percent increase in mobile data traffic within the network, equivalent to 27,000 terabytes worth of data exchanged from January to September 2014, compared with just 13,000 terabytes of data for the same period last year.
Lim said Smart’s mobile data performance for the quarter follows global trends, with smartphone shipments increasing globally by 25.2 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to research firm IDC.
But more than just riding the smartphone wave, Smart has been offering services and content suited to the needs of an emerging market like the Philippines.
Smart has introduced digital content with services such as music (Spinnr and Deezer), videos (Blink and ViewStream), books and magazines (Buqo), and e-Sports (Gamex), which can be accessed using prepaid loads or charged on top of their postpaid accounts.
Smart has also recently enabled the capability for its subscribers to download apps and games and do in-app purchases through Google Play using their cellphone loads, which means Android phone users can purchase and enjoy digital content on their phones.