Monday, August 30, 2010

Students get connected at school via Smart Tag

Leading wireless services provider Smart Communications Inc. has launched a reloadable wireless broadband Internet access card called Smart Tag that connects users’ laptops or any WiFi-enabled gadgets to the Internet.

Launched in select schools around Metro Manila, Smart Tag gives users high-speed Internet access for P15 per 30 minutes—much cheaper than the P100 per hour offers of other WiFi providers, Smart said in a statement.

Users also have the option to register for a five-day, unlimited WiFi access for only P150.

Smart Tag is available in over 700 hotspots nationwide, including popular coffee shops and fast food establishments such as Starbucks, Jollibee and Chowking.

Chay Cruel, Smart senior manager for Smart Bro Prepaid, said another advantage of Smart Tag is that it is reloadable, and top ups may be purchased from any Smart Load retailer nationwide. Smart Tag uses the network of Smart’s subsidiary, Smart Broadband Inc.

“Unlike other WiFi access cards, the Smart Tag load is valid for one year. Our subscribers don’t have to worry about expiring load,” Cruel said.

To date, over 11,000 students and staff of Smart Tag pilot schools have been given free pre-loaded Smart Tag cards worth P150, which they may consume for five days, 24/7.

Pilot schools include Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), Arellano University (AU), Angeles University Foundation (AUF), Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) and National College of Science and Technology (NCST).

“In Ateneo, the campus is too big for all of us to share the wireless broadband connection the school provides. We would rather go outside the campus to do research and study,” said Rina Go, a BS Health Sciences graduating student and president of Ateneo Resident Student Association.

“Smart Tag affords us the mobility and flexibility of being able to multi-task,” Go said.

Julius Sareno, IT director of TUP Manila, said the product serves students well since it encourages students to stay within the campus when going online instead of going to the mall.

“Smart Tag is much cheaper. With our student budget, we have to make sure we get value for our money,” said AU nursing student Alyssa Lagrosa.

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