Thursday, January 13, 2011

PLDT Telpad a game-changer for landline business

PLDT's new landline offer that bundles a souped-up DSL service with a seven-inch tablet computer is bringing the buzz back to the landline business.

Dubbed PLDT TelPad, the new offer was introduced last December 13 and has since attracted growing consumer interest, said PLDT Senior Vice President Eric R. Alberto.

“We've received numerous inquiries. Customers are making reservations for the service which will be implemented in January. People are talking about it in blogs and social networks. We have not had this much excitement in a landline service for many years,” Alberto said.

The PLDT TelPad unit includes a special handset that also serves as a charging dock for an application-rich tablet computer. Subscribers can use the handset or the portable tablet computer to make and receive phone calls and access over a hundred thousand online applications. This is on top of the unlimited broadband DSL service.

Through the TelPad, PLDT aims to win new DSL subscribers and get existing ones to upgrade their service.

“Homes with wired broadband access nationwide will be the first targets for the innovative service,” said PLDT Retail Business Group Head Danilo C. Ibarra.

“For our customers, TelPad will enhance their broadband experience through the convenience of using a handy device to access a growing portfolio of exciting applications. For PLDT, this new service will enhance our DSL revenues,” he added.

The PLDT TelPad service starts at Plan 1849 (P1,849) with 1-megabit-per-second (Mbps) broadband connection and landline service. The PLDT TelPad unit comes bundled with the plan. Existing PLDT myDSL customers only need to add as low as P500/month to upgrade to the TelPad plans.

Today, there are close to 3.5 million wired and wireless broadband connections, with PLDT and subsidiary Smart having a 61-percent market share. The telecommunications industry leader is looking to further increase that share after the product is released in January 2011.

“There are potentially around 10 million households who can afford this new service. We hope many of them will get PLDT TelPad when they realize how it can potentially transform their lifestyle,” Alberto said.

“The tablet is the attention-getter, but that's just the start. The tablet is the handy device through which our customers will be able to conveniently access exclusive PLDT content and services that will really make the landline a must-have service for the home or office,” Ibarra said.

The new content services that come with the TelPad include:

• PLDT@HOME, a consumer portal for viewing exclusive multimedia and accessing business content;
• PLDTFAIR.COM, a portal for businesses to link with the estimated 700,000 myDSL subscribers through a storefront which the former can regularly refresh with their latest promotions and product portfolio;
• askPLDT, which provides exclusive content that includes traffic updates, movie schedules, recipes, directory services, etc.; and
• myDSL Watchpad, which provides exclusive live video streaming of premium channels like CNN, Channel V, Animax, National Geographic, the History Channel and CNBC Asia.

Moreover, the PLDT TelPad unit has an HDMI port that can be used to connect to a television set, said PLDT vice president Patrick Tang.

“You can watch video clips and movies on the TelPad unit itself or you can enjoy the show by hooking up the unit to the TV. It’s so easy and it’s already HD quality,” said Tang.

Other services include a Karaoke game where other PLDT TelPad subscribers can compete and challenge each other for the highest scores. This game, to be initially offered for free, will be made available at very affordable daily rates. There are also a lot of other games to be made available. The TelPad tablet can also be used to listen to music, read e-mail and display photo slideshows.

Another potentially appealing service is the ePub, a widget that allows PLDT TelPad subscribers to access major dailies such as Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star in virtual look and feel. ePub will also offer a library of the most popular magazines in digitized form such as Mega, METRO, FHM and Lifestyle Asia, among others. Users can experience the enjoyment of virtually flipping pages of newspapers and magazines using the PLDT TelPad unit.

The PLDT TelPad tablet is powered by a 1Ghz Cortex A8 processor that enables the device to deliver snappy performance. It runs on Android’s latest operating system version 2.2, which offers genuine multi-tasking capabilities. Users of TelPad can download a wide range of applications from the Android Market, Google’s online store which offers over 125,000 applications like business apps, e-books and magazines and games.

Storage won’t be a problem as the unit’s 2GB internal capacity can be augmented by an SD card and USB slot for extended storage. The TelPad also carries a 2-megapixel front camera for still shots and videoconference calls.

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