Smart expands Smart Surf Abroad 550 to prepaid users 2nd Opinion February 15, 2016 News Smart Communications has rolled out the country’s widest data roaming network, making available a flat-rate data roaming offer covering over 120 countries to the prepaid segment of the 67-million mobile subscriber base of the PLDT group. Available at the flat rate of P550 per day and offered via load cards that are valid for one, two, or three days, the Smart Surf Abroad 550 package provides users with worry-free and convenient mobile data connectivity while traveling overseas. This allows travelers with prepaid subscription to stay online using their smartphone while overseas, whether to post photos and updates on their social networks, or to use chat apps to keep in touch with their contacts, or navigate unfamiliar areas using commuter service apps and travel guides – all without waiting to for the availability of Wi-Fi. Stimulating travel boom “We know that the increasing availability of affordable airfare and accommodations continues to stimulate overseas tourism among Filipinos. Smart’s mobile data service in the country’s largest data roaming network is designed to help encourage this by making their travels more pleasant, and eventually, empower Filipinos to travel and learn more by seeing more of the world,” said Ernesto R. Alberto, Executive Vice President and head of Enterprise, International, and Carrier Business at PLDT and Smart. According to the latest World Tourism Barometer released in January this year by the United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals worldwide increased 4.4% versus the previous year, reaching a record almost 1.2 billion in 2015 – a figure the UNWTO further expects to grow by 4% worldwide in 2016. The same organization also identified Filipinos as one of the fastest growing travel spenders among emerging markets in 2013. Instant sharing “Our strong partnerships with the top mobile operators in over 120 countries allow us to offer this service, and we will continue to expand this data roaming network to serve the communication needs of the growing number of Filipino travelers,” according to Alejandro O. Caeg, Senior Vice President and head of International and Carrier Business at PLDT and Smart. “We know that our subscribers have increasingly come to depend on mobile data when they are at home, and more so when they are traveling the world – for that always-on, instant-sharing experience,” said Cristina Z. Mariano, head of Global Access and International Services at Smart. Mobile data usage on PLDT’s wireless segment continues to surge dramatically, increasing by 139% for the first nine months of 2015, and leading to wireless broadband and mobile Internet, in particular, posting record highs in revenue growth during the third quarter of 2015. “We have designed Surf Abroad 550 to be very easy to activate, affordable, and relevant to the digital and mobile needs of traveling Filipinos — so wherever they are in the world, they can instantly capture and share their experiences online via Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks. This is part of our commitment to empower our subscribers to live the ‘Smart Life’ even while traveling overseas,” added Mariano. Surf Abroad 550 is also available as a fully automated service for Smart Postpaid subscribers, for a worry-free data roaming experience. To activate the roaming service, Smart Prepaid subscribers simply have to text ROAM ON and send it to 333 before leaving the country. At their destination, they simply have to turn their mobile data on, then dial *133# to access the menu to choose Data Roaming and their preferred denomination.