The country’s leading digital services provider Smart Communications, Inc. is one of eight finalists, and the only Philippine telco nominated for Best Mobile Operator in an Emerging Market at the World Communication Awards (WCA), an international recognition program for innovation and outstanding performance in the telecommunications industry.
Smart is competing against India’s Airtel Business, China’s China Mobile International, Jamaica’s Digicel Group, Myanmar’s Ooredoo, France’ Orange, Indonesia’s Telin, and Vietnam’s Viettel Business Solutions – Viettel Group.
The Best Operator in an Emerging Market citation is awarded to the operator that has best adapted to emerging market and has overcome challenges to improve the lives of customers and achieve commercial success.
Smart and parent firm PLDT Inc. continue to strengthen its network advantage, having already invested some Php260 billion from 2015 to 2019. For 2020, following the easing of lockdown restrictions, target capital expenditures have leveled up to about Php70 billion.
Smart’s high-speed broadband service is now available in 93% of the country’s cities and municipalities and serves 95% of the population. In the first half of 2020, Smart added 2,500 LTE base stations, raising the total by over 10% from end-2019. Smart has also begun rolling out 5G in key areas of the Philippines.
Complementing this is Smart’s deployment of fiber-powered Smart WiFi in high traffic areas like government offices, schools, transportation hubs, among others.
“At any given period, we tirelessly work on delivering the best network, the most relevant digital content and platforms, and world-class customer service — as we enable our customers to succeed and do more of what they love. From e-commerce, to e-governance, e-health, e-learning, e-work and cyber security, Smart and our parent firm, PLDT, play a catalytic role in the Philippine digital transformation and in overall nation-building,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer.
Smart’s digital transformation, coupled with relevant programs and services for its subscribers and stakeholders have resulted in data connectivity and digital services crossing crucial growth thresholds, and now increasingly making up the bulk of the services Smart is delivering to customers.
At the end of the first half of 2020, mobile data traffic hit 1,368 Petabytes, more than double the traffic of 1H 2019. The surge in data usage also powered revenue growth, and now accounts for 73% of total wireless revenues—up from 66% in the 1H 2019 and 45% in 1H 2018.
The exponential growth in data traffic has been mainly from video streaming, social networking and gaming—activities which need the support of robust networks to ensure quality customer experience.
Now on its 22nd year, the WCAs recognizes innovation and excellence for global telecoms. It is organized annually by London-based industry publication Total Telecom. Winners will be named during a virtual awarding ceremony to be held on October 28.