PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has forged a partnership with Philippine Airlines (PAL) to provide exclusive, co-branded tourist SIMs to travelers arriving at the country’s major airports.
Under the agreement, Smart will provide Smart PAL Travel SIMs to international passengers arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Clark International Airport, Cebu International Airport, Caticlan Airport, and Davao International Airport.
The all-in-one Smart PAL Travel SIM is preloaded with 1 GB of open-access data, unlimited texts, and unlimited calls to Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers, valid for one day. In-flight vouchers for the Smart PAL Travel SIM will be distributed to travelers, who can then claim them for free at the Smart booths located at the airport arrival area.
Grand OFW Salubong
The partnership was announced during PAL’s annual Grand OFW Salubong held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, where OFWs from Riyadh and Doha were greeted with an exclusive mini-concert by Regine Velasquez upon homecoming. Smart and PAL also distributed premium items and loot bags during the event.
Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers can also look forward to exclusive seat sales and other promos, as well as free access to PAL’s hotline, website and app.
“We are happy to work with the country’s flag carrier in ensuring that our international visitors have access to the Philippines’ fastest network while they are traveling around the country,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT chairman and CEO.
“Philippine Airlines is delighted to forge a program partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) as it enables our travelers to experience the benefits of a local SIM card–convenient connectivity and saving on hefty roaming charges. We look forward to sustaining this worthwhile collaboration,” said PAL President and COO Gilbert Santa Maria.
“With this agreement, our friends from other countries who are visiting our islands can share their travel experiences while on-the-go using the Smart PAL Travel SIM on the Smart LTE network that we have put in place across the country,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart President and CEO.
PLDT-Smart executives SVP for Consumer Business – Individual Group Oscar Enrico A. Reyes Jr., Head of Key Accounts Precy Katigbak and VP and Head of Smart Prepaid Marketing Gerard Milan attended the event.
In addition to Santa Maria, also at the event were PAL Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer Eugene Go and PAL AVP for Ancillary Business Programs Alfred Montemayor.
Also present were NAIA Terminal 1 Manager Irene P. Montalbo, PHAR CEO Marcus Wright and PHAR Managing Director for ASIA Prem Bahtia.
More than 6 million foreign tourists visited the country in the first nine months of the year, up by 17 percent compared to the previous year, according to latest statistics from the Department of Tourism.
Fastest network in PH
As of September 2019, Smart has already deployed around 21,700 LTE base stations across the country to improve mobile service quality and coverage nationwide. PLDT, on the other hand, has also expanded its fiber footprint to around 307,000 kilometers. PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most expansive in the Philippines, also supports Smart’s mobile network.
As a result of these continuing upgrades, Smart has been recognized by third party mobile analytics firm Opensignal for delivering the country’s best video experience, download speed experience, upload speed experience and latency experience. PLDT and Smart have also been recognized as the fastest fixed and mobile networks in the Philippines by Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis.
The sustained improvement of the PLDT-Smart network has been supported by a stepped-up capital expenditures program estimated at P78.4 billion in 2019.