Friday, February 25, 2011

For Edsa rites, People Power monument becomes Wi-Fi zone

Putting a tech twist on today’s 25th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution, a portion of the historic highway covering the vicinity of the People Power Monument is being made a Wi-Fi zone.

The Edsa People Power Commission put in the Wi-Fi capability to give social networking fanatics, media, bloggers and other spectators a chance to send status messages, updates, tweets and photos as the events unfold.

An estimated 35,000 people are expected to troop to Edsa to attend the celebration.

The Edsa People Power Commission, headed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, and Maria Montelibano, head of the Edsa 25th celebration, has partnered with Globe Telecom to provide broadband Internet facilities.

This marks the first time that free Wi-Fi connection in Edsa was provided, with the Edsa People Power Commission managing the Wi-Fi access.

Key activities include the flag-raising ceremony with prominent leaders of the Edsa People Power Revolution, a job fair at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), a boodle fight near the People Power Monument, the reenactment of the “salubong,” where the military and the civilians met near Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame, and a live musical variety show and OPM concert, spearheaded by Edsa People Power commissioner Ogie Alcasid.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mobile operators should fear Facebook threat ? analyst

Facebook is shaping up to be a strong competitor to mobile operators that are in danger of underestimating the threat it poses, according to analyst firm Ovum.

In a new report, the research firm stated that Facebook is much more than a social network – this is just a starting point and its domain spreads much wider.

However, operators are being slow to wake up to the extent of Facebook’s ambitions and tend to view it as benign, non-competitive presence that they are keen to form partnerships.

Eden Zoller, author of the report and Ovum principal analyst, said: “Facebook is encroaching directly on mobile operator territory and should not be underestimated”.

“It has come a very long way since it first launched Facebook Mobile in 2006. It is now a force to be reckoned with in mobile with over 200 million users interacting with the service via mobile phone. It is much more than a social network and is better viewed as an increasingly rich platform for communications and content. Facebook wants to integrate with everything and be the main way that people consume and share information, anywhere and on any device.”

Facebook has made several moves that have placed it in competition with mobile operators. It has an integration deal with Skype for voice communications and in November 2010 unveiled an email offering.

Meanwhile, it is turning increasing attention to location-based services with its Places platform and is pushing into mobile advertising in the shape of the Facebook Deals ‘check-in’ service. Facebook apps dominate app stores across most smartphone operating systems.

Zoller continued: “There is also intense ongoing speculation that Facebook will come out with its own phone, which in some respects would be the final piece of the puzzle. However, we don’t think that Facebook is any rush to launch its own hardware just yet, although it could be interested in working with partners on a customized device platform. This would in effect make Facebook a social operating system.”

Despite this competition from Facebook, mobile operators are keen to partner with it, for example by offering easy access to its services and address book integration.

Zoller added: “While there are good reasons why operators should wish to partner with Facebook, they should be more alert to the fact that it is shaping up to be a strong competitor. It is only by understanding Facebook fully that operators can engage with it effectively, be that on a collaborative or competitive basis.”

Sun Cellular unveils add-on postpaid plan for as low as P150/month!

Sun Cellular has launched the most affordable Postpaid plan in the market today, the Add-on Plan P150.

The plan comes with a free mobile phone, and a monthly Sun Text Unlimited allocation with four hours of free Sun-to-Sun calls. It is open to existing subscribers as well as to new subscribers applying for a regular Postpaid account and want an additional line through the add-on postpaid plan.

Subscribers can choose from a Samsung E1080 or Huawei G2100 for a 12-month contract, or a Nokia 1616 or LGS108 for a 24 month contract.

“We launched this plan because we know that many of our subscribers want a second line for their children, small business or other purposes. It is convenient and budget-friendly” says Ricky Pena, Vice-President for Postpaid Marketing and New Business.

Last September 2010, Sun Cellular led the postpaid market segment as it hit one million postpaid subscriptions with seven out of 10 new postpaid subscribers choosing Sun Cellular.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


True to its commitment to ignite a new kind of firebrand journalism that goes beyond traditional news reporting, News5 rises to the challenge of bringing comprehensive and up-to-the-minute news by launching a massive 360-degree convergence of various multimedia platforms to deliver relevant and real-time news updates to Filipinos all across the country and around the world.
As TV5’s News and Information organization, News5 breaks boundaries with its non-stop delivery of the latest news on free-to-air TV, on the much-accessible radio FM band, and on the globally available Internet. Barely a year since its launch, News5 has earned the status of being a credible news organization with a dynamic team of news anchors, reporters and correspondents who often gain first-hand access to late-breaking news and exclusive reports that benefit the viewing public.
News5’s launch of its multimedia news platforms presents a series of milestones in the industry. Another innovation to be introduced by News5 is the first-ever non-stop news and sports channel on free TV, AksyonTV UHF Channel 41 (Channel 29 in Davao and Cebu). The 24-hour news and sports channel gives Filipinos the privilege of continuously being updated on the latest national and international news and witnessing some of the most talked about sports events even without cable subscription.
Frontlined by a formidable lineup of veteran news personalities who are known pillars of the industry, AksyonTV will officially air this February 21. As its first big salvo, it brings the much-awaited battle of Fil-Am female boxer Ana Julaton, the WBO Super Bantamweight champion who will slug it out with the fiery Francesca Alcanter. Dubbed as ‘The Return of the Hurricane,’ the championship bout will be held at the Craneway Pavilion, Point Richmond, California and will air live on AksyonTV UHF Channel 41 on February 26. This and a lot more are in store as AksyonTV goes full blast in delivering non-stop news and sports coverages.
News5 also launches its InterAksyon website which will present real-time news writeups and video streaming of news reports for the benefit of Filipinos here and abroad who want to be updated on the latest happenings in the country. More importantly, InterAksyon’s tie-up with vital organizations such Metra (for the most technologically advanced weathercast) and the MMDA (for synchronized traffic updates) will make the website an essential instrument for the Filipinos’ everyday life.

NTC circular orders telcos to notify mobile users on Net charges

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has approved on Friday a memorandum circular ordering telcos and vendors of smartphones to inform buyers and subscribers of access charges when they use the Internet through their phones.

NTC chair Gamaliel Cordoba
The circular, signed by NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba and new deputy commissioners Carlo Jose Martinez and Delilah Deles, mandates retailers to disclose the Internet settings of the phone and disable it if requested by the buyer.

For the mobile operators, the order also imposes the obligation to notify a subscriber, through a text message, of the access charge when he or she is attempting to access the Internet.

Moreover, the circular ordered that the reminders should be sent when a subscriber or user has consumed at least 50 percent of his or her credit limit.

It was also provided that mobile carriers should provide Internet access only to those who opted to avail of the service.

The order also compels telcos to send text messages to subscribers who have availed of roaming services to access their website for information applicable service rates and roaming charges.

“The information shall be sent right after the subscribers/users are acknowledged by the roaming partner,” the order stated.

The circular also orders mobile operators to “conduct information drive on the capabilities of the smartphones and the responsibilities of their respective subscribers/users on the use of such smartphones.”

Vendors and telcos are liable for administrative charges for any violation of the circular’s provisions.

wi-tribe, Skype bare partnership

wi-tribe announced Thursday a commercial agreement with Skype to promote Skype and its related products over wi-tribe’s networks in Jordan and the Philippines; two key markets for wi-tribe.

Under the agreement, wi-tribe, a provider of wireless broadband Internet, will enable subscribers in the respective markets to easily download Skype software and connect with their family and friends.

“wi-tribe's collaboration with Skype is further proof of our commitment to finding innovative ways of delivering superior broadband experience to consumers. Through partnering with a world-class organization like Skype, we are further enhancing the value of the service that we provide to wi-tribe customers” said Sohail Qadri, wi-tribe Group CEO.

To kick off the partnership, Skype and wi-tribe will distribute Skype credit vouchers in the Philippines and in Jordan. These vouchers will enable customers to enjoy free calls to landlines and mobiles over Skype using the wi-tribe broadband network.

Skype had 145 million average monthly connected users for the three months ended 31 December 2010 and according to TeleGeography in January 2011, Skype to Skype calling minutes in 2010 were equivalent to approximately20% of total global international PSTN and Skype-to-Skype calling minutes. With today’s partnership announcement, more users in the Middle-Eastern and Asian regions will enjoy easy accessibility to popular Skype features such as free Skype-to-Skype calls, instant messaging, low cost calls to landlines and mobiles as well as the recently launched Group Video Calling.

“wi-tribe is a high performance wireless internet provider with a customer centric approach, much like Skype. We look forward to working with wi-tribe and support the growth of the internet ecosystem,” said Russ Shaw, Vice President and General Manager for Mobile, Skype.

Friday, February 18, 2011



unlimited Smart-Smart/TNT/Red sms + 20 all-network sms + 20 minutes flexi consumable for Smart/TNT/Red calls or mobile internet browsing

To avail of the offer, simply register by sending the 20 to 6415.

Validity 1 day


unlimited Smart-Smart/TNT/Red sms + 30 all-network sms + 30 minutes flexi consumable for Smart/TNT/Red calls or mobile internet browsing

To avail of the offer, simply register by sending the 30 to 6415.

Validity 2 day

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SNN hurting telcos revenues

INSTEAD of using short messaging system (SMS), Filipinos are likely to send more messages through social networking sites (SNN), a trend that is expected to hurt the telecom revenue from call and text services this year, according to telecom analysts.

Aside from being known as the "text capital of the world" with more than one billion messages sent daily, the Philippines was also ranked 6th as the country with the most number of Facebook users globally as of November last year.

Marc Einstein, Frost & Sullivan Industry manager in Asia Pacific, ICT Practice, said the Filipinos’ strong adoption of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and other value added services in the web that gives free SMS services are expected to have impact on telco revenues from traditional services which have previously been affected by the unlimited and bucket price offerings.

"This is a major challenge.....people in the Philippines are starting to use things like Facebook and Blackberry Messenger instead of SMS and this will hurt revenue growth in the PH," Einstein said.

For this year, local telcos’ revenues from the wireless business are expected to grow by single digit. While broadband business is expected to grow by double digit, it is not enough to offset the decline in SMS and voice.

At present, there are a lot of alternative to SMS and call services available online for free, including Skype, a voice over internet protocol (VoiP) service, which allows users to talk to anyone else with Skype account for free. If the internet connection is relatively fast, Skype provides good voice quality.

Chikka gives users free outbound text to all networks by sending messages from computer to cellular phone but when the subscribers opt to reply to the messages they will be charged P1 during off-peak hours and higher during peak hours .

Another latest application called WhatsApp Messenger, a smartphone messaging application, allows users to exchange messages with their friends and contacts for free who are using iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Nokia (Symbian) phones if they have existing smartphone internet data plan or Wi-Fi.

For leading wireless telecom provider side, Danilo Mojica, SMART head of Wireless Consumer Division, admitted that the Filipinos’ strong adoption of social networking sites was another challenge the company is facing. He said that even when they offer services at a very low price, subscribers still choose platforms that are available online.

Mojica said that the second battle for pricing will not be on the telecom area. "The second competitive area will be not among the telco anymore," he said. "It will be the other platforms like What’sApp, on voices side Skype or Facebook and Android."

Alberto de Larazzabal, Globe Telecom Inc., chief financial officer (CFO), said that he expects the SNN adoption will hurt their revenue in the future but currently, it will only affect revenues from the higher end market which have access to computers or smartphone devices. The mass market, he said, will continue to rely on traditional SMS and call services.

For this year, Globe is targeting to capture the market potential in the mobile data. It has earmarked substaintial investment to improve its network to be the preferred brand for "cellphone internet" in the country and also improve broadband profitability and sustain growth of fixed line data business for corporate sector.

Ernest L. Cu Globe president said "Growing our mobile data business is a key priority this year through enhanced customer experiences, wider variety of mobile data plans, devices and content . We are also encouraged by the increasing subscribers take up in mobile data use." In 2010, Globe reported double digit growth year on year on mobile data revenues.

Last year,Globe broadband subscribers grew by 50 percent to 1.1 million compared in the same period last year, while mobile phone subscribers stood at over 26 million.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Globe capitalizes on market opportunities for mobile data services

Globe Telecom aims to cement its leadership in mobile data services with an aggressive push for new device and mobile data offers. The company said the attractive offers will make mobile data more accessible and affordable to mobile phone subscribers.

“We see good potential in mobile data services as Filipinos start to upgrade their devices and the price of these units drop to more affordable levels. We have been gearing up for this especially in terms of technical support,” said Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu. “The trend on social networking continues to go up, and we see it as a good sign that the market is ripe for mobile internet use in the country.”

To attract subscribers to use mobile data services, Globe rolled out smartphone offers at every price plan. For example, a subscriber can already avail of an Android handset like the Samsung C3303 for as low as Postpaid Plan 499. Not only this, it also bundled a free 30-day trial of Globe Super Surf with select plans and devices for subscribers to experience mobile internet and access a world of content. Globe has also diversified its data plan offers to include more tablet devices like the Huawei S7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab.

“Growing our mobile data business is a key priority this year through enhanced customer experience, wider variety of mobile data plans, devices and content. We are also encouraged by the increasing subscriber take up in mobile data use,” Cu added. In 2010, Globe reported double-digit growth year-on-year on mobile data revenues.

To power up subscriber experience, Globe has an established partnership with GetJar, the world’s second largest applications store with over a billion downloads to date. It provides more than 75,000 mobile applications to consumers in more than 200 countries for both feature phones and smartphones across all major platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone and Symbian. Through GetJar, Globe subscribers have been able to download thousands of mobile applications (apps) via the Globe WAP portal, ranging from games, education, social networking, entertainment, finance, food, health, search, lifestyle and several other utility applications, including popular applications such as Facebook® Mobile, Yahoo!, Nimbuzz, Opera Mini Browser and eBuddy.

Last month, Globe introduced several mobile internet offers that cater to diverse surfing habits and price points. Recently, the company launched POWERSURF, a consumable, prepaid mobile internet offer that allows subscribers to surf the internet for 60 minutes for just P15, or effectively, only P0.25 per minute, within one day. Globe has also reduced its 30-days unlimited surfing offer to only P999 for 30 days.

Data privacy bill hurdles second reading

The country’s booming BPO sector has something to look forward to this year as the House of Representatives passed last week on second reading the proposed Data Privacy Act, which seeks to govern and establish fair practices in the collection and use of personal details stashed in the computer systems of the private sector and the government.

The outsourcing sector is the one of the primary backers of the proposed law since a huge number of confidential data is processed in the country from other countries, particularly the US.

The House action came shortly after the committee on information and communications technology, along with the committee on government reorganization, endorsed the bill authored chiefly by representatives Roman Romulo of Pasig City and Susan Yap of Tarlac.

Romulo, who also serves as House deputy majority leader, said the measure:

• Covers all entities and individuals involved in the gathering and processing of all types of personal information;
• Sets rigorous standards for and controls on the lawful culling, processing and retrieval of personal information;
• Defines the rights of data subjects, or the individuals whose personal information are being compiled; and
• Mandates the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) as administrator of all electronic data privacy controls.
• The measure would prevent the misuse of personal facts in computer systems, including identity theft; reinforce consumer confidence in electronic commerce; and build up the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) activities that handle a great deal of personal information, according to Romulo.

“The bill is quite strong. For instance, if you are a credit card issuer, you are expected to adopt adequate organizational, physical and technical measures to protect your electronic files,” Romulo said.

“In the event of unauthorized access to the files of your cardholders, you have to alert the CICT right away. Failure to issue a breach notification is enough to make you liable to pay a fine of up to P5 million per violation, to be imposed by the CICT,” he said.

“The punitive fine is without prejudice to possible criminal charges, once the Department of Justice ascertains that the failure (to issue a breach notification) was intentional,” Romulo added.

• The bill sets the following criteria for the lawful processing of personal information:

• The data subject has given his or her clear consent, which must be in writing or through other similar means of express consent, depending on the circumstances;
• The processing is necessary and is related to the fulfillment of a contract with the data subject or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract;
• The processing is required to protect the data subject’s vital interests, including life and health; or
• The processing is needed in order to respond to national emergency, to comply with the requirements of public order and safety, or to fulfill functions of public authority.

The other week, stakeholders of the local IT industry also gathered to push the cybercrime bill, which is also currently pending in Congress.

Angara during the cybercrime forum in Makati City.
Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, who was one of the guests during the 2nd International Conference on Cybercrime, said the cybercrime prevention bill which he filed in the upper chamber would empower authorities against offenses and violations made online.

Senate Bill No. 52 seeks to deter cybercrime by imposing prison time and heavy fines of at least P200,000.

The proposed law also seeks wide international cooperation to investigate and prosecute cybercrimes. Jurisdiction is one of the most critical aspects of cybercrimes, requiring collaboration within a government and among governments.

“Cybercrime is a silent epidemic that we cannot sufficiently address through existing law enforcement tools,” warned Angara.

“We need more dynamic solutions to address the rapidly changing cybercrime industry and ensure that ICT is maximized for the benefit of society more than anything else,” he said.

Smart unveils Netphone

In line with its “Internet for All” advocacy, Smart Communications Inc. unveiled here at the 2011 GSMA Mobile World Congress a breakthrough smartphone specifically designed for the emerging market, the Netphone, last Saturday.

The device is not only about the handset, according to Smart spokesman Ramon Isberto, it is the entire concept that aims to make the Internet accessible to a greater number of people.

“It is not the phone, but what’s in the phone. The Netphone is the entire package of services Smart provides, the easy bite-sized access to the Web and the price,” he says.

Powered by the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system, one of the most popular operating systems today, the Netphone can be customized by users according to their needs. It has its own branded software and applications relevant to emerging market customers, according to Smart.

Smart’s apps shop

It comes with a suite of applications exclusively from, and managed by, Smart. It provides users one-touch, one-screen access to the most popular communications and social networking sites, and relevant customer account services.

In a statement, Smart says the Netphone provides simultaneous access to Facebook, Twitter and MYGroups social networks. It combines Yahoo Messenger, Facebook Chat and other chat services in one seamless interface.

Users can also find out their prepaid airtime balance in one touch.

All these are compliant with the specifications of Android and the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), a global alliance of the world’s leading telcos, operators, applications developers, handset manufacturers and operating systems owners, which defines the open industry applications standards.

Because it is powered by the Android 2.2 OS and is WAC, the Netphone can also access the entire Android market and other apps stores.

It is especially designed to enable users to access the Internet in “bite size,” allowing them to go straight to the services they need in one touch and in the shortest time possible, thereby wasting no airtime in going through various processes.

Smart has teamed up with Chinese phone maker Huawei for the Netphone. The telco took part in the design of the handsets manufactured by Huawei to ensure that the devices are in accordance with Netphone specifications.

Making sure it will be affordable to many, the Netphones will retail for about P5,000 to P7,000.

New revenue source

With its price, services and bite-size Internet offering, Smart is confident the Netphone will be a hit, unlocking another revenue stream for the company.

“With the NetPhone, Smart can rapidly deploy new widgets, applications and services over the air, continually enhance the Netphone’s value to our subscribers and, in the process, create healthy revenue streams,” said Smart president and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno in a statement.

“By providing easy, bite-sized access to the Web, the Netphone perfectly complements our Internet for All advocacy. Designed for emerging-market phone users, this device further democratizes access to the Internet just as Smart led in putting cell phones in the hands of millions of Filipinos,” said Orlando B. Vea, Smart chief wireless adviser, in the same statement.

Being an operator-managed system, Smart will be able to manage its suite of software and applications, push new mobile services to subscribers over the air, and even prioritize software updates.

The Netphone fits perfectly with another Smart offering, “the Internet in sachet,” which offers a P1 per minute access to the Web. It makes sure every P1 spent is actually used for the intended purpose.

“Smartphones are powering tremendous growth in mobile Internet usage. Last month, Smart began offering our subscribers a line of affordable Android-powered smartphones combined with even more affordable mobile Internet rates. The introduction of our Netphone, also at an attractive price point offering relevant services, is a major enhancement of our strategy to unlock this new revenue stream,” said Danilo J. Mojica, Smart wireless consumer division head.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Koreans to build Aquatic City in Pangasinan

Negotiations have been finalized with a group of Korean investors for the construction of the Pangasinan Aqua City project in this capital town under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme.

Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. bared this project in his State-of-the-Province Address (SOPA) last Monday at the Capitol Plaza.

He said that the industrial and tourism complex to be developed by Home Ship Vehicle Amphi Port Company of South Korea was envisioned to include berthing facilities for amphibious planes, beach front residences, a golf course, an export processing area, fish farm and a monorail transport system.

The complex will be powered by a solar-and-wind power generating equipment, which facility is a component of the entire Korean investment. “We have been assured by our Korean investors that the 50 stepping jetties designed for power generation are now being assembled in Korea and scheduled for shipment to Pangasinan within the first quarter of the year,” he said.

Phase 1, which will cost $20 million, will commence as soon as the stepping jetties are installed and expected to be completed in a year, he said.

He said that the Koreans were very meticulous with technical details and very careful with their funds. But after about five months of meetings and deliberations, the provincial government and the investors finally agreed to pursue the project.

Speaking before a big crowd at the Capitol grounds, Espino called on the local leaders and his provincemates to be more vigorous in pursuing “shared responsibility” in governance to ensure better service for the people and elevate Pangasinan as the best province in the country, pointing out that if the people of the province will put their acts together, “Pangasinan will soon become the best place to invest, work, live and raise a family, and will eventually emerge as the number one province in the country.”

Espino highlighted the gains of his administration in 2010, defining the year as a “period of historic transition” which, he said, now serves as the hallmark of the provincial government’s continuing firm resolve for transformation. “We could not have gone this, we could not have excelled in the various fields of endeavor where we are now the acknowledged leader in Region 1, without your constant support and active participation in our various development programs,” the governor stressed.

Recalling how April 5, 1580 was finally discovered and established as “Agew Na Pangasinan” (Founding Day of Pangasinan), the governor said “with determined efforts, we succeeded in establishing our historical roots and identity after 430 long years.”

The governor said inclusion of Pangasinan culture and history in the basic curriculum for elementary and high school is now underway to properly preserve the province’s rich heritage.

The governor hailed the Research and Study Committee headed by former Vice Gov. Gonzalo Duque, for accomplishing that task to determine the foundation date. Duque will also head the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission to write the history of the province.

Pangasinan since 2008 has been winner in all regional competitions. It also won national awards and citations -Best Project Implementer in Coastal Resources Management, Best Poverty-Reduction Program Implementer, Best Regional Development Agenda Implementer, Best LGU Millenium Development Goals Project Implementer, Hall of Fame Awardee in the celebration of National Statistics Month, Regional Overall Champion for DSWD Youth Encampment, and Top PESO Regional Performer.

To produce premium grade rice at a fast rate of 2.5 metric tons per hour, the P200-million modern rice processing center in Sta. Barbara funded by a grant from the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is expected to start operation within the next few weeks.

The provincial capitol compound underwent major face-lifting to showcase the provincial government’s tourism promotion program. Pangasinan now leads other provinces in the Ilocos region in terms of tourist arrivals.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Smart powers real-time updates of Azkals match

Filipino football fans who watched the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup match between the Philippine Azkals and the Mongolian football team Wednesday night turned to mobile Internet, voice calls and SMS to “self-broadcast” real-time updates from the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.

Prior to the game won by the Philippine Azkals and attended by close to 20,000 spectators from all over the country, Smart Communications Inc. made sure the stadium is “broadband-ready.”

“We acknowledge the importance of this sporting event, not just to the local fans of the sport but also to the international football community,” said Danilo Mojica, head of Smart’s Wireless Consumer Division.

“With the Azkals’ stunning performance, the Philippines is becoming an emerging football powerhouse and the world is watching. We are glad to provide broadband connectivity to our friends in the media who broke the news to the world. We also ensured continuous quality communication and data services for the thousands of fans who gathered for the game,” he said.

Smart provided high-speed wireless broadband Internet at the stadium’s Media Center to allow journalists to easily and quickly transmit data during the highly anticipated match.

Smart has also fortified its cellular and broadband coverage on the ground to accommodate the huge volume of voice calls, SMS and mobile data connection transactions made by the mobile subscribers who watched — and “covered live” — the game.

“We have rolled out Multi Element on Wheels (MEOW) at the site. It is essentially a cell site mounted on a six-wheeler truck,” said Mario Tamayo, head of Smart’s Technical Services Division.

“The MEOW is an additional way of ensuring improved quality of service, more capacity and better customer experience during high-traffic events,” Tamayo said.

“We expected our subscribers to generate real time buzz on the Philippines-Mongolia match. True enough, they made a number of calls and texts. But more notably, they posted live updates and uploaded photos and videos through social networking sites. Our network was ready to help the Azkals fans enjoy their experience and share their football fever with the rest of the world,” Mojica said.

“This is just one of our ways to help promote and propagate football in the country,” Mojica added.

Smart provides cellular and broadband coverage to 1,629 cities and municipalities across the country, enabling subscribers to enjoy high-quality mobile and broadband services such as voice, SMS, wireless Internet, mobile banking, financial services, info-on-demand and other value-added services.

Smart is also a known supporter of sports in the country. It has launched projects for the promotion of sports like basketball, boxing, and marathon, among others.

Smart recently pledged P80 million to the Philippine Football Federation for a 10-year football development program aimed at forming a national football league and providing opportunities for skilled football players.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Globe leads mobile data business with aggressive device and plan offers

With technology moving at an almost-supersonic speed, new gadgets and services crop-up almost every week. But for many mobile phone users, the need for gadgets and offers that actually work for them and suit their lifestyles reigns supreme over those that may be loaded with all sorts of hi-tech features but irrelevant and unusable. With the mobile telephony market reaching its mature stage, mobile data business offers new opportunities among Filipino mobile phone users in terms of usage and patronage.

Globe Telecom takes the lead in mobile data business in the Philippines as demand for reliable, on-the-go internet connectivity increases. The company announced it would expand its device line-up to include more smartphones and tablets at various price ranges,, as well as more flexible and affordable data plans for its subscribers.

Up-to-date handsets and devices

Globe offers an array of the world’s most hardworking smartphones with a free 30-day trial of Globe Super Surf so users get to enjoy the full experience of their gadgets while to surf the net their way. The Huawei Ideos u8150, rated as one of the best-valued handsets by global tech experts, is one of the world’s cheapest Android smartphone. Powered by an Android 2.2 Operating System (Froyo), the Ideos u8150 can be customized with communication, entertainment, productivity and gaming applications. The Ideos u8150 also doubles as a wifi router for up to 8 devices at a time. It comes in black, yellow, blue and purple, perfect for those who want to match their phones with their personalities.

The world’s largest multi-technology company, Samsung, partners with Globe for a mobile internet bundle for its best-valued Android mobile phone, the Samsung Galaxy 5 i5503 Europa. The Europa is powered by a 600 Mhz processor that’s fast enough for gaming, sending Tweets, viewing Facebook photos and even reading eBooks. You can also use this phone to stream your music to other DLNA-compliant TV or audio system at home.

The Huawei Ideos u8150 and Samsung Galaxy 5 i5503 Europa both come free with Globe MySuperPlan 499 and 30 days of Super Surf.

Globe is also introducing two of Samsung’s latest devices—the Samsung Galaxy Mini s5570 and the Samsung Galaxy Ace s5830.

The Samsung Galaxy Mini s5570 is small in size, but big on fun and function. Running on an Android 2.2 (Froyo), the Galaxy Mini features a microUSB port and microSD card slot and supports Wifi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1. It’s perfect for stylish and trendy teens or the young-at-heart who want multimedia functions like a radio and a photo gallery yet simple enough to use. The perfect gadget for smartphone neophytes, it also offers Google™ voice actions and Quick Office document viewer, all powered by a 600MHz processor.

For those who want an android that works as hard as they do, the Samsung Galaxy Ace s5830 is the way to go. It runs on Google Android 2.2.1 Froyo version with Samsung’s proprietary TouchWiz 3.0 UI layered on top of it. The galaxy ace packs with a 2GB microSD card and one can add up to 32GB microSD card for additional storage. For good quality imaging, the Galaxy Ace has a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and an LED Flash. It supports quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks, which offers up to 7.2Mbps speed for HSDPA data connections. Apart from that, the galaxy ace has Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1 support and integrates Gmail, Social Hub, Google Maps (Latitude, Places and Navigation in Beta) and Android market.

The Samsung Galaxy Mini s5570 comes free at Globe MySuperPlan 999, while the Samsung Galaxy Ace s5830 is free at Plan 1799. Both are bundled with 30 days of Super Surf for free so users can experience and enjoy mobile internet their way.

Apart from handsets, Globe is also carrying the Huawei Ideos S7 tablet. Powered by Android 2.1, Éclair, the S7 tablet is a no-frills gadget that boasts of a 7-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, 800x480 pixel resolution and 720p high definition video playback. Running on a 768MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the S7 provides users quick and easy access to information through its 3G function. It’s one of the most affordable tablets in the market, and comes free at Plan 999 with free 30-day trial of Super Surf.

Exciting mobile phone applications

Fully-loaded gadgets and a data plan isn’t enough for users to enjoy all that techie power in their hands. Mobile applications, simply known as apps, are just the thing to customize each smartphone. For a complete mobile data experience, Globe has partnered with GetJar, the world’s second largest independent app store, for an array of free apps available on the Globe WAP site ( Popular apps on the Globe WAP site include Snaptu, an all-in-one app that allows the user to access popular services, varying from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Picasa to entertainment news, blogs, sports and local guides; Nimbuzz, an ultimate all can messaging app; and the addicting physics-based game Angry Birds.

Affordable data plans

The mobile browsing bliss on Globe can last longer, thanks to Globe’s more affordable mobile data plans. Super Surf is now at P999 for 30 days, equivalent to just P33.33 per day; while Power Surf, a consumable mobile internet offer, now comes in a daily P15 variant for 60 minutes. It’s the most affordable prepaid data plan in the market at the equivalent of just P0.25 per minute.

“Globe is proud to offer the best-valued and best-performing smartphones in the market, the most affordable data plans and the widest array of mobile applications that allows our subscribers to fully enjoy mobile internet,” said Joanna Africa, Head for Portfolio Management of Globe. “Mobile internet is taking off in the country and our goal is to make the service more accessible, affordable and widely available to Filipinos from all walks of life.”

Business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan expects mobile data in the Philippines to grow dramatically over the next five years. The country also has the highest data usage figures in the region with 54% of the total data usage compared to its Asian neighbors.

Nokia picks Windows platform, forms alliance with Microsoft

Top mobile phonemaker Nokia is adopting the Windows Phone platform after announcing in a media conference in London that it is forming a broad strategic partnership with software behemoth Microsoft.

The epic alliance comes after a leaked message attributed to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop spread in cyberspace this week.

With Nokia’s planned move to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, the Finnish firm said Symbian will become a “franchise platform”.

“This strategy recognizes the opportunity to retain and transition the installed base of 200 million Symbian owners. Nokia expects to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in the years to come,” the phonemaker said..

Under the new strategy, Nokia’s MeeGo will now just become an “open-source, mobile operating system project”. MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences, it said.

Nokia said it still plans to ship a MeeGo-related products later this year.

Come April 1, Nokia said it will have a new company structure, which features two distinct business units: smart devices and mobile phones.

“They will focus on Nokia’s key business areas: high-end smartphones and mass-market mobile phones. Each unit will have profit-and-loss responsibility and end-to-end accountability for the full consumer experience, including product development, product management and product marketing,” the company said.

Under the proposed partnership:

• Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

• Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

• Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

• Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

• Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience

• Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

• Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

• Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

“Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,” Elop, said at the joint news conference.

“Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”

“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale.The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”

Bucket Pricing for Broadband gets a new twist

So, we had a talk with another telco/ISP the other night and they asked us for feedback about a proposal to offer bucket pricing on top of their existing unlimited plans. As I previously wrote here, I’m open to having more options for broadband consumers.

In my previous article, I gave out some hypothetical figures for how much the bucket pricing should be. This time, the concerned ISP gave a rough number which is something worth considering. Here’s how it might go…

Say, you are currently paying Php999 for unlimited internet with speed of up to 1Mbps. Sounds pretty standard, right?

What if, your ISP offers another package at the same price point — for Php999 you get 4Mbps but it’s capped at 15GB?

Option 1. Unlimited Plan: Php999 @ 1Mbps (unlimited)
Option 2. Capped Plan: Php999 @ 4Mbps (15GB/month)

For the capped plan, customers are given alerts (email and/or SMS) and a web interface to check their running bandwidth usage. If you reached the monthly quota, you will be able to buy more bandwidth. Something like Php100 for additional 1GB.

Customers can then choose which of the two plans they want to use — the unlimited or the capped package and then get the corresponding speed bump.

If you think 15GB isn’t enough, then you will be free to pick the 1Mbps plan. If you think you’re not a heavy user but speed is important to you for efficiency, you can choose the 4Mbps plan. Sounds fair.

Here’s the clincher — you might also be able to set your own speed and bandwidth cap as well. It should look like this:

Plan 1999: Php1,999/month for 2Mbps unlimited
8Mbps at 30GB bandwidth cap (+ Php100/GB overage)

Plan 2999: Php2,999/month for 3Mbps unlimited
12Mbps at 60GB bandwidth cap (+ Php100/GB overage)

Now that’s very interesting. What say you?

P.S. The issue of speed consistency was also brought up, including the practice of offering a CIR (committed internet rate). Again, no ISP would guarantee a minimum speed (CIR) unless you subscribe to a dedicated leased line (versus the shared connection on residential lines). The only way you get a consistent 1Mbps is when you get a dedicated leased line (which they say is in the range of $1,000 per 1Mbps nowadays).

Ayala to build P3-B BPO hub in UP Katipunan property

Apparently impressed by the modern-looking UP-Ayala Techno Hub along Commonwealth Avenue, the University of the Philippines (UP) Board of Regents has awarded a lease contract to Ayala Land to build a “university town” that will include BPO offices at the current location of UP Integrated School (UPIS) along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City.

Photo from

The Ayala realty firm said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange that it will spend around P3 billion to develop the 7.4-hectare property also known as the UPIS campus.

UP conducted a public bidding in November last year for the relocation and building of a new UPIS in a location within the main Diliman campus identified by the university.

The contract of lease will be 25 years with the option to renew for another 25 years by mutual agreement, the company said.

“The Company envisions the project as a University Town concept consisting of mixed-use retail and office components, with firm emphasis on academic support facilities. This will be the first of its kind in the country to reflect a strong collaboration between the academe and the industry,” Ayala Land said.

The project will involve the construction of retail establishments and “a combination of headquarter-and-the-BPO-office type building”, the company said.

Construction is scheduled to start within the year and is expected to be finished by the fourth quarter of 2013, Ayala Land disclosed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New software translates any spoken language into sign language

Apart from being the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio can now boast to be the birthplace of one of the greatest innovations in communication for the hard of hearing.

The thesis project of eight IT students at Saint Louis University is a computer program that uses animation to teach sign langauge. Project leader Ahmed Abdullah Khayef described the program as a dictionary for people who hope to learn or teach sign language.

“[Although] there are already existing technologies…they are language-specific. My project is different because it…can accommodate all languages across nations. You can have your ‘jejemon’ sign language…when you input the word, pick the sign elements, then save it and when the user types the same word, he can view the avatar [demonstrating] the sign language.”

The program uses an avatar to teach a user standard sign language and also to create his own sign code for any word. “Users themselves can pick [the gestures] to animate the sign. So eventually, you can create your own sign language, like for ‘jejemon,’” he says.

Khayef’s team researched for their thesis by visiting schools for the hearing-impaired to learn more about their language—learning how poorly equipped hearing teachers are to teach what to them is a borrowed language.

Smart Bro expands suite of prepaid offers

Wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has beefed up its suite of prepaid load packages for the Smart Bro Plug-it USB stick modem to give subscribers the flexibility to choose the ‘bucket’ that best fits their budget and usage pattern.

Smart Broadband, Inc. (SBI), the broadband unit of Smart, announced the availability of the prepaid lifestyle 250, 350, and 450 packages, that all offer real value-for-money surfing rates and longer validity periods.

With the 250 package, a Smart Bro prepaid subscriber may avail of 15 hours of surfing, valid for 12 days. The 350 variant offers 25 hours, valid for 18 days, while the 450 variant offers 35 hours, valid for 25 days.

"We know that no two subscribers will have exactly the same preference and requirement when it comes to their broadband service. These new offers expand the array of options available to our prepaid broadband subscribers, to enable them to choose the load denomination that’s best for them," said Danilo Mojica, head of Smart’s Wireless Consumer Division.

For users that prefer "unli" packages, Smart Bro still offers Unlisurf 50, which provides 24 hours of surfing for only P50. Unlisurf 100 provides two days of unlimited Internet access for P100, while Unlisurf 200 provides five days of access for only P200.

Smart Bro prepaid subscribers can avail of any of these packages by logging on to, where they can register and click on their preferred variant. They may also avail of any prepaid package through SMS via Smart Bro. A one-peso Smart Bro balance must be maintained when availing of any of the packages.

The variety and affordability available to its prepaid subscribers reinforce Smart Bro’s leadership position, using the most advancedmobile broadband technology adopted by Smart, and the widest broadband network covering the country’s major cities and municipalities.

"While we continuously fortify our networks and optimize available technologies to ensure service quality, we also strive to keep access as affordable as possible, and offering a variety of value-based prepaid options is in keeping with this direction," Mojica added.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Globe touts first voice blogging service in PH

Globe Telecom rolled out on Tuesday what it said is a pioneering technology that allows a subscriber to post voice updates using a mobile phone.

The Ayala-owned carrier said it partnered with Bubble Motion, a developer of consumer social communications services, to make the Globe Voice Blog available in the country.

Configured like a “voice-based Twitter”, the Globe Voice Blog allows social media fanatics to connect with each other, with a more personal twist, the company said.

Like making a call, voice bloggers dial **1 for free and start recording their status update.

The user can invite followers who will then be notified via SMS and will be prompted to click and listen to the recorded update.

To follow another voice blogger, a Globe subscriber can dial ** followed by the phone number of the person they want to follow.

Local celebrities and blogging personalities have already become voice bloggers themselves. Musicians such as Jim Paredes (**8812), Yeng Constantino (**8012) and Tutti Caringal (**8003) have launched their voice blogs on Globe.

Bloggers such as Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet (**8803), Carlos Celdran of Celdrantours (**8811) and Mae Paner of Juana Change (**8810) have also activated their voice blogs.

To follow their voice blogger, users can dial their respective user codes at P2.50 per minute. Once subscribed, the users will receive free notifications via text whenever new voice blog updates are available. Users may also listen to featured celebrity bloggers for free by dialing **3000.

The company said the Globe Voice Blog can be used to promote products and services, sharing expertise or experiences, informing unique groups or those who have common interests.

“We believe voice blogging will bring a new level of emotional energy to social media in the Philippines,” said Rina Azcuna-Siongco, head of value added services at Globe Telecom.

“The authenticity of voice coupled with the Twitter-like ability to follow friends, family and celebrities make Globe Voice Blog a perfect fit for our consumers.”

Thomas Clayton, president and CEO of Bubble Motion, added, “We are excited to bring this innovation to the Philippines, given the fanatical enthusiasm Filipinos have for embracing digital technology to socialize and build community. We are very optimistic about this partnership with Globe in building a strong following of voice bloggers.”

Currently enjoyed by over five million users in India, Japan and Indonesia, the voice blogging technology is seeing a huge potential in expanding presence in the Philippines, now referred to as Asia’s most socially-engaged country with over 20 million Facebook and Twitter users.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Samsung expands Galaxy line with three more Android phones

f you think you’ve decided on which Android smartphone to get, Samsung introduced three more Galaxy phones to confuse you some more. These phones won’t necessarily compete with their flagship Galaxy S nor the entry-level Galaxy 5 but instead will be priced somewhere in-between and might probably push the Galaxy Spica away.

All of these new handsets have Android 2.2 OS (Froyo), quad-band GSM/EDGE, 3G with HSDPA, plus A-GPS support, music player, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, microSD support and your typical TFT display. They all have the Samsung custom TouchWiz UI layered and the lovable SWYPE text input method.
Samsung GALAXY Ace S5830

Galaxy Ace

Leading the pack is the Galaxy Ace that packs a decent size 3.5” HVGA screen and powered by a 800MHz processor. A 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash can be see on its white glossy back that looks like that of the Galaxy Tab. Internal storage is only at 158MB so better get a microSD.

The Samsung GALAXY Ace retails at Php16,500.
Samsung GALAXY Fit S5670

Galaxy Fit

Going a teeny bit smaller is the Galaxy Fit which has a 3.31-inch QVGA display and a slower but still decent 600MHz processor. The display size is ok but the QVGA resolution doesn’t sound so hot. Camera is still at 5-megapixel with autofocus but no flash.

The Samsung GALAXY Fit is available first week of March for Php12,890.
Samsung GALAXY mini S5570

Galaxy MiniFinally, the Galaxy mini which I think how the Galaxy 5 should be when it first came out. It has a slightly larger 3.14-inch QVGA display compared to Galaxy 5’s 2.8-inch and packs the same 600MHz processor. It also comes with a 3.15 megapixel fixed-focus camera. This phone is marketed towards people who wants a small, fun and trendy smartphone.

The Samsung GALAXY mini is available for Php10,690.

Nothing really special with these new Android handsets if you’ve mostly seen all kinds out there. Samsung is just being themselves by covering all price points and market segments giving consumers a whole lot of choices.

Smart launches next generation M2M communications services

Smart Communications is launching a new suite of next generation machine-to-machine (M2M) communications services that will not only generate fresh revenue streams for it but also help other companies raise their operational efficiencies.

To be offered under the umbrella of its “Smart Enterprise” business unit, these applications are designed to address the requirements of businesses like merchandising, logistics and pharmaceuticals, among others.

“Aside from the existing M2M business applications deployed by the PLDT group in the past, Smart Enterprise is launching new services this year that will change the landscape for enterprise applications,” Smart chief wireless advisor Orlando Vea said

The first of these offerings is called Tollway Pass. It is an application designed for corporate customers with fleet operations, as well as tollway and parking operators.

In the case of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), for instance, Smart developed a solution using Smart Money as a payment account so that those who travel through the NLEX need not worry about manual payments so long as their Smart Money accounts are active.

The integration of the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) infrastructure with the Smart payment facilities will allow cost effective and efficient management of travel expenses for enterprise customers with fleet operations particularly for those travelling through NLEX.

By creating a single, fully-redundant road toll payment facility, MNTC and Smart will provide enterprise customers with the tools that allow them to monitor and manage their fleet with much ease.

Productivity and efficiency are likewise expected to improve considering less interruptions and delays at the toll booths, he said.

Also in the works is smart metering wherein the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will deploy digital meters with modems.

Prepaid metering and broadband over powerlines (BPL) are also some of the synergy projects which PLDT and Meralco are working on.

PLDT senior vice president Eric Alberto meanwhile said healthcare is also one area that could benefit from these enterprise solutions.

PLDT sister company Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) owns or manages six hospitals, including Makati Medical Center.

In the area of healthcare, Vea said they are piloting electronic health records in Iloilo and e-referral system in Iloilo. “We are also doing remote prosthetics profiling wirelessly,” he added.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Globe Surf and Text All You Want for P60/day

Globe Telecom's Super Surf is getting an upgrade. You can now surf and text all you want for just P60 a day with Globe's SurfTxt60. The new Surf and Text plan offers unlimited mobile internet and unlimited Globe/TM texts for P60 valid for 1 day to all Globe Prepaid/Tattoo Stick subscribers.

To activate, just send SURFTXT60 to 8888. Mobile internet access is guided by Globe Telecom's Fair Usage Policy.

Globe Telecom's Fair Use Policy for Broadband

The Fair Use Policy of Globe is aligned with the global industry practice of telecommunications providers all over the world. It is intended to ensure that all customers will have the equal opportunity to enjoy the services offered by Globe. As such, the Fair Use Policy may be used to protect Globe customers against entities or persons utilizing Globe services in a manner that runs counter to the intent of the product or service, fraudulent, or exceeding normal standards of use.

In your purchase or use of our products and service, you accept our Terms and Conditions and agree to be bound by the policy. Please see as below the terms relating to the relevant service that you have subscribed for.

Tattoo Sticks Broadband (Nomadic)

How is Fair Use applied to this product?

The Globe Tattoo Stick broadband product is designed to provide quick and convenient surfing access while on-the-go (mobile use). It allows you to enjoy mobile broadband service that is fast and reliable – anytime, anywhere.

The product is normally used for emailing, browsing and base search activities. By design, this product is not intended for file sharing software and downloading files in large format like music, videos, and movies (users of peer to peer/torrent applications). In case a customer uses the product other than its intent, the customer might experience slow browsing.

Our fair use policy applies to products or services as well as special offers or promotions, providing data usage for free or at rates lower than standard rates, or unlimited access to data usage.

The Globe Tattoo Prepaid Stick service provides a peak volume capacity currently set at 800MB per account per day. Should you exceed the peak capacity within the day; the service will be temporarily unavailable until end of day. However, service will resume on the following day.

On the other hand, the Globe Tattoo Postpaid Stick provides a peak volume capacity currently set at 10 GB per account per month.

Am I likely to be affected by the Fair Use Policy?
If you don't use file sharing software or download large files from the internet, it is unlikely that you will ever be affected by this policy. Media streaming and downloading of torrents contribute to your use of bandwidth capacity and if left permanently on, may cause you to be in breach of this policy.

What will happen if my usage requirement is high?
To fully enjoy Globe nomadic broadband services, make a quick assessment of your usage. If it is more than the plan you subscribed for, it would be best to upgrade your plan or subscribe to a broadband service for your home to suit your usage requirement and lifestyle.

Occasional high bandwidth usage is unlikely a cause for concern. However, regular peak bandwidth usage may require you to upgrade your plan to optimize use of the product.

What net activity can I do with 800 MB?
With 800MB capacity, you can do the following activities using the Internet:
Send/receive 22,400 plain text emails
Send/receive 2,720 emails with document attachments
View 2,720 web pages
Download 200 songs
Upload/download 1,600 social media posts
View 272 minutes of streaming video
Download 1 90-minute movie
Globe Broadband for your Home (WiMAX)

How is Fair Use applied to this product?
The Globe @Home broadband product is designed to provide a steady browsing experience at the convenience of your home. This allows you to enjoy consistently fast and reliable broadband service when you use it. This product may be used for data streaming and heavier file downloads. However, uncommonly high file downloads (users of peer to peer/torrent applications) or commercial usage may result to a slow browsing experience.

Similar to the nomadic sticks, our fair use policy applies to products and services as well as special offers or promotions, providing data usage for free or at rates lower than standard rates, or unlimited access to data usage.

The Globe @Home broadband service currently provides the following peak volume capacity depending on your plan:
For WiMAX Prepaid: 1GB per account per day
For WiMAX Postpaid 512kbps: 16GB-20GB per account per month
For WiMAX Postpaid 1mbps: 21GB-25GB per account per month
If a customer exceeds the peak capacity, the following may be experienced:
For WiMax Prepaid: service will be temporarily unavailable until end of day and will resume the following day.
For WiMax Postpaid: slow browsing speed within the month.
Am I likely to be affected by the Fair Use Policy?
If you don't use file sharing software or download large files from the internet it is unlikely that you will ever be affected by this policy. Media streaming and downloading of torrents contribute to your use of bandwidth capacity and if left permanently on, may cause you to be in breach of this policy.

What will happen if my usage requirement is high?
To fully enjoy Globe @Home broadband services, make a quick assessment of your usage. If it is more than the plan you subscribed for, it would be best to upgrade your plan to suit your usage requirement and lifestyle.
Occasional high bandwidth usage is unlikely a cause for concern. However, regular peak bandwidth usage may require you to upgrade your plan to optimize use of the product.
Globe's fair usage policy can be found at

Globe PowerSurf15 Php15 for 60 minutes

Globe has also introduced a new per minute bucket pricing for their mobile 3G called PowerSurf (as opposed to the unlimited SuperSurf). Rate starts at Php15 per 60 minutes (1 hour) but goes down to Php10 per hour for larger buckets.

Php15 for 60 minutes (expires in 1 day) – text PowerSurf15 to 8888
Php30 for 180 minutes (expires in 1 day) – text PowerSurf30 to 8888
Php50 for 300 minutes (expires in 3 days) – text PowerSurf50 to 8888

You need to have Php1 minimum load for PowerSurf15 and Php5 minimum load for PowerSurf30 and PowerSurf50 to activate this. It’s just a promo though and only lasts until June 30 this year.

Globe PowerSurf15 Php15 for 60 minutes

Globe has also introduced a new per minute bucket pricing for their mobile 3G called PowerSurf (as opposed to the unlimited SuperSurf). Rate starts at Php15 per 60 minutes (1 hour) but goes down to Php10 per hour for larger buckets.

Php15 for 60 minutes (expires in 1 day) – text PowerSurf15 to 8888
Php30 for 180 minutes (expires in 1 day) – text PowerSurf30 to 8888
Php50 for 300 minutes (expires in 3 days) – text PowerSurf50 to 8888

You need to have Php1 minimum load for PowerSurf15 and Php5 minimum load for PowerSurf30 and PowerSurf50 to activate this. It’s just a promo though and only lasts until June 30 this year.

Update Smart per Minute Rate for Mobile 3G

So I got an email from one of the engineers (Technical Services Division) of Smart wanting to clarify/correct my previous entry regarding the Php1 per minute rates Smart is offering.

I am told that the 1 peso per minute rate is an option available for users who have prepaid load of less than Php10. This is to help users maximize their remaining load credits.

However, there another set of per minute charging which is available to all prepaid users as another option. Here’s the screenshot of the complete offerings taken from Smart WebConnect.

So that’s Php60 for 3 hours (180 minutes) and expires in 2 days, Php100 for 5 hours (300 minutes) and expires in 4 days and Php150 for 7.5 hours (450 minutes) and expires in 7 days.

The rates still follows Smart Bro’s Php20 per hour and will still be great for people who frequently use Twitter, FB or FourSquare but don’t really need to go online 24/7.

If you go with UnliSurf, that’s Php50 for 24 hours. If your cumulative mobile internet usage is under 3 hours for 2 days, instead of using Php100 for 2 days of UnliSurf, you have the option to pick Php60 for 3 hours within a 2-day period (which makes it cheaper).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

GMA Network launches GMA News TV on Channel 11

"The biggest news on Philippine TV has just arrived—industry leader GMA Network launches GMA News TV on Channel 11.

"From the men and women of GMA News and Public Affairs—the only broadcast news organization in the Philippines that has won the Peabody Award—GMA News TV is in response to the insistent public clamor for relevant and credible news reportage that only GMA News and Public Affairs can deliver.

"'We are responding to viewers' requests for timely news updates in Filipino and for public affairs shows at earlier timeslots with this groundbreaking news channel,' says News TV Head Nessa Valdellon.

"Bannered by the respected names in broadcast journalism—Jessica Soho, Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco, Arnold Clavio, Vicky Morales and Howie Severino—GMA News TV delivers serbisyong totoo with newscasts and public affairs programs, all in Filipino, from morning to night.

"Also part of the formidable lineup of names joining GMA News TV are Kara David, Prof. Winnie Monsod and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) Executive Director Malou Mangahas. In addition, Sheila Coronel of Columbia University, Newsbreak's Marites Vitug and Ed Lingao of PCIJ will be joining the channel as advisers for the investigative documentaries.

"'For the first time, the country's most awarded documentarists will be anchoring newscasts. News TV's primetime newscast State of the Nation will be hosted by Peabody winner Jessica Soho. News TV's morning newscast will be led by GMA News Online Editor-in-Chief Howie Severino and another Peabody winner Kara David. Their shows will be in-depth, something to really look forward to," adds Valdellon.

"At a time of the 24/7 news cycle and new media, GMA News TV steps up to the challenge of delivering worthwhile content—credible and relevant news and information. Deploying its resources to help people become more socially aware, to provide viewers with the knowledge that may perhaps effect change in their lives, families, and communities.

"GMA News TV airs this February. Catch the exclusive first glimpse of GMA News TV this Monday, February 7 in 24 Oras, on GMA-7."

The New Cybercrime Bills in the Philippines

There several versions of the new “Cybercrime” bill that will be tackled by Congress. The original bill that was proposed a few years back was slammed by a lot of tech bloggers, journalists, and industry experts. I skimmed through them briefly and at first glance almost all of them look exactly like carbon copies of one another. This makes you think if they just copy and paste this material from other bills filed in different countries. Anyway, I just wanted to give my two cents worth about the impact of these bills should they be passed.

Essence of the Bill
At the very core this bill just aims to punish two things. First is the unauthorized tampering and hacking of computer systems (includes websites, social networking accounts, online gaming accounts, e-mails, etc). Second is anything that has to do with promoting sex online (cybersex/child pornography).
This bill is a very welcome development especially for companies. Right now the only protection they have against employees who leak sensitive information is dismissal. With bills like this you can actually file charges against those who are proven to be behind the acts. This also goes the same with all individuals or groups who have been relentlessly hacking government and commercial websites in the last few years. This bill empowers the state and the citizen to face cybercrime incidents.
On a lighter note, people who love doing pranks on their officemates’ YM and Facebook statuses when they’re not on their desk should be wary of this bill. You can be charged for violating “Data Interference”.
For violations pertaining to the Cybersex section, this can be a lot more tricky because it involves moral judgement. There’s one clause there that says:
Establishing, maintaining, or controlling, directly or indirectly, any operation for sexual activity or arousal with the aid of or through the use of a computer system, for a favor or consideration.
Does this mean that FHM can be charged for cybersex? Or the adult community forums? Or how about the popular FAD blog which drew the ire of a lot of politicians when they posted the videos and pictures of local celebrity scandals? It will be very interesting to see how this particular clause of the bill will translate to actual charges filed in court. I’m all for a clean internet ecosystem but we have to admit that it will be really tough to pull off.
I actually find myself supporting this bill since the need for it is very urgent. I just hope that they iron it out more especially when it comes to implementation. The section on child pornography is long due given all the operations that were busted by local police forces. They just may want to drill down to the specifics to avoid confusion on different interpretations.
My biggest apprehension though is not really with the bill but with the government in general. I think I’ve lost so much faith in the system already. This bill proposes that we make ANOTHER government agency to focus on cybercrime prevention. That’s tax payers’ money that will pay for the salaries of all the employees. It just doesn’t feel right with all the corruption scandals being exposed lately.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Smart 3Gfrom Php10/30mins to Php1/min

Smart is offering a new prepaid mobile internet plan — at one-peso-per-minute rate. That’s basically Php60 per hour, way more expensive than their current offering which is Php10 per 30 minutes or Php20 per hour.

The move to offer Php1 per minute might have been prompted by mobile users who connect in quick intervals to sites like Twitter, FourSquare or Facebook.

So instead of paying Php10 just to update and check-in with FourSquare, you may be just spending Php1 or Php2 which is just a minute or two — enough time to fire up FourSquare, check-in and log out from your 3G connection. It really depends on the case use.

Smart has not yet indicated how you choose between the two bucket pricing — Php1/minute or Php10/30 minutes (or even the Php50 per 24 hours UnliSurf) — but I guess users will ultimately have more options when connecting to 3G internet.

Small telecom player sets rollout

Small telecom player eTelco will commercially launch its broadband wireless access services in the first quarter of the year.

In a filing with the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) eTelco said it is in the final stage of negotiations with two equipment and network solution vendors and for the lease of its new office.

"eTelco has finalized the site surveys for the locations of its initial sites in the Ortigas Business Center area and lease contracts with the property owners are expected to be signed within the first quarter of this year," eTelco said.

"Equipment delivery and installation as well as commercial launch of eTelco’s BWA services are expected to commence immediately thereafter" the company added.

eTelco obtained a certificate of public convenience and necessity and provisional authority in 2006.

Telcos OK pre-paid SIM registration but ask how

Telecommunication firms are open to the proposal to require the registration of cellphone SIM cards, but they raised concerns on how this may be implemented.

At a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Services on Tuesday, Atty. Rodolfo Salalima, president of the Philippine Chamber of Telecom Operators, said about 95% of 75 to 80 million cellphone users are on prepaid.

A huge chunk of these prepaid subscribers do not have valid government identification, he noted.

He also said they have very minimal control over their re-sellers, which would make it hard for them to oversee the registration of SIM cards.

The Senate's move to have SIM cards registered stemmed from the recent bus bombing in Makati City that killed 5 people and injured 13 others. Authorities said the explosive device in the bus blast used an 81-millimeter mortar and a cell phone as detonator.

Aside from this, many scams are also committed using prepaid SIM cards.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, himself, shared an experience wherein a caller introduced himself as Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento and tried to solicit money for a golf tournament.

Google Android topples Nokia Symbian as top smartphone platform maker

Google Android has now overtaken Nokia Symbian on the top spot among smartphone platforms beating Apple iPhone on its way up, according to a research company that showed the end of the 10-year reign of Nokia.

Research company Canalys unleashed Monday that the 32.9 million handsets with Google platform (Android, Tapas, and OMS) that were sold last quarter were sufficient to overtake Nokia Symbian with 31 million handsets sold, Reuters reported.

Despite the fact that Nokia still shows great lead as the world’s biggest handset maker, it has proven its weak spots in the realm of smartphone during the past few years.


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