Sunday, June 26, 2011

Globe ENCASH to deploy ATMs in the countryside

ENCASH, the Philippines’ first Independent ATM Deployer, gets to set up its own automated teller machines (ATM) in the countryside primarily to serve ATM cardholders and people in areas where there are no commercial bank ATMs available.

Today, they’re the preferred partner of the large network of rural banks operating in the regions, now aggressively set-out to offering ATM services.

With this mission, ENCASH uses the Virtual Private Network (VPN) of Globe Business which provides for the secure and reliable connectivity required by these ATMs.

Jose Maria Valdes, Director for Operations at ENCASH, said that ATM business is the business of dispensing money, so the first thing you have to make sure of is that the network is secure.

Second, you have to make sure the system is always up.

"We were able to locate the ATMs in remote areas and make sure the messages are transmitted in a secure manner and the system is practically available 99 percent of the time using the technology offered by Globe", said Valdes.

He added, "We needed a network that is private, secure and under our control. We found these in the Virtual Private Network of Globe. We are assured of a network that is both stable and reliable."

Globe VPN gives business customers their own private network. Unlike standard private network offerings this is internet based yet it is completely secure.

Various offices are connected together in a private fashion in their own private network but without the prohibitive cost of a standard private network service.

ENCASH intends to reach 400 ATMs by the end of the year in partnership with Globe Business. It is targeting almost 700 ATMs by 2012 using Globe VPN.

Business solutions like VPN is just one of the many communication tools that Globe Business offers to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Globe Business is the one-stop shop that offers wireless, wireline and data services simplified to meet every business requirement.

Smart fetes seafarers with Smart Money offer

IN CELEBRATION of the first ever "Day of the Filipino Seafarers", leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is enabling all Filipino seafarers and their loved ones to avail of Smart Money – the world's first cash card linked to a mobile phone – for affordable, secure, and convenient remittance.

From June 25 until December 31, 2011, all Filipino seafarers and their designated beneficiary, or allottee, can simply proceed to any Smart Retail Store anywhere in the country, and present their "seaman's book" or their "allottee card" as proof, to collect their free Smart Money cards and start using the service to directly receive remittance within minutes from abroad.

If the seafarer or the designated beneficiary does not have a Smart or Talk ‘N Text SIM, he can be provided with a Smart Buddy SIM, for free, upon a minimum top-up of P30.

Relevant services

The Smart Money offer complements the Smart Link service designed specifically to answer the communication needs of seafaring Filipinos.

The Philippines is said to be the world's leading supplier of ship crew men and women, with an estimated 330,000 Filipino seafarers, or about a quarter of the world's sailors, manning various types of vessels worldwide.

Smart Link, deployed across 7,500 maritime vessels all over the world, is the country’s first and only prepaid satellite phone service catering to the maritime industry. It provides coverage to seafarers sailing within Asia-Pacific, Indian Ocean, Middle East, Africa, and some parts of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.

"This is one of the synergies that we at Smart are happy to provide to all our valued seafarers everywhere, and to their families here, hopefully to help improve the quality of their lives," shared Orlando B. Vea, co-founder and Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart.

Convenient, fast receipt

Wherever they are in the world, Filipino seafarers can make cash transfers to their loved-ones' Smart Money account in the Philippines. They can do this through any of over 95,000 international money transfer locations, including participating locations of The Western Union Company® and MoneyGram International in the United States, Malaysia, and in Hong Kong.

Once the funds are sent, within minutes the Philippine-based beneficiary receives a free SMS notification on the details of the Smart Money fund transfer. They then have the option to use the funds to securely pay for utility bills such as Meralco and Maynilad, among others, with just a few clicks on their mobile phone, anytime, anywhere.

They may also use funds from their Smart Money electronic wallet to transfer money to their Smart or Talk ‘N Text friends through Pasa Pera by just entering their mobile number, or purchase airtime load for their Smart mobile phones and get 5% bonus load, or to pay for goods and services securely from over 35 million MasterCard establishments worldwide and online.

Smart Money accountholders also have the option to use their Smart Money card to withdraw the seafarer’s cash remittance from any of over 10,000 ATMS, 4,000 Smart Money Centers, or 100 Smart Retail Stores.

To find out more about Smart's slew of services available to seafaring Filipinos and their loved ones, please visit the nearest Smart Wireless Center or Smart Store, or join the conversation at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chief Justice Corona Orders Live Webcast of Maguindanao Massacre Trial thru SC Website

Pursuant to the decision of the Supreme Court partially granting pro hac vice (for this particular occasion) the request for the live broadcast of the Maguindanao Massacre trial, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona has instructed the SC Public Information Office to provide a live video webcast of the court proceedings through the SC website. With this, the Maguindanao Massacre trial will be accessible to viewers worldwide, continuously and without interruption. Once a scheduled trial is in progress, it can be immediately viewed by simply accessing the SC website using computers or mobile internet devices, including cellphones equipped with required software.

Public Information Office Chief and Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez is now restructuring the website and acquiring the technical requirements to comply with the order of the Chief Justice. “I am meeting with the technical staff this afternoon so that we could immediately comply with the instructions of the Chief Justice. Hopefully, with the live webcast, the objections regarding no commercial breaks or gaps, and continuous broadcast of entire proceedings, will be addressed,” Marquez said.

On 14 June 2011, the Court unanimously allowed the live broadcast of the Maguindanao Massacre Trial based on a set of guidelines; some of which are: (1) an audio-visual recording of the Maguindanao massacre cases may be made both for documentary purposes and for transmittal to live broadcast broadcasting; (2) media entities must file with the trial court a letter of application, manifesting that they intend to broadcast the audio-visual recording (AVR) of the proceedings; no selective or partial coverage shall be allowed and no media entity shall be allowed to broadcast the proceedings without an application duly approved by the trial court; (3) a single fixed compact camera shall be installed inconspicuously inside the courtroom to provide a single wide-angle full-view of the sala of the trial court; no panning and zooming shall be allowed to avoid unduly highlighting or downplaying incidents in the proceedings x x x x (5) the broadcasting of the proceedings for a particular day must be continuous and in its entirety; (6) no commercial break or any other gap shall be allowed until the day’s proceedings are adjourned, except during the period of recess call by the trial court and during portions of the proceedings wherein the public is ordered excluded; (7) the proceedings shall be broadcast without any voice-overs, except brief annotations of scenes depicted therein as may be necessary to explain them at the start or at the end of the scene; (8) no repeat airing of the AVR shall be allowed until after the finality of judgment, except brief footages and still images derived from or cartographic sketches of scenes based on the recording, only for news purposes, which shall likewise observe the sub judice rule and be subject to the contempt power of the court. x x x x
“We will try to do a test webcast by next week,” Marquez added.

AM No. 10-11-5-SC, Re: Petition for Radio and Television Coverage of the Multiple Murder Cases against Maguindanao Governor Zaldy Ampatuan, et al.; AM No. 10-11-7-SC, Re: Letter of President Benigno S. Aquino III for the Live Media Coverage of the Maguindanao Massacre Trial, June 14, 2011.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wi-Tribe removes data cap, but then warns heavy subscribers

Wi-Tribe Telecoms on Monday said it will offer “unlimited” Internet services to its subscribers, but at the same time warned its heaviest users that Internet speed may slow down for them.

Wi-Tribe said 5 percent of subscribers may be deemed “abusive” for hogging up to a quarter of its bandwidth.

The company claimed record-breaking sales in recent months but would not reveal the exact numbers. Officials claimed to have registered 55,000 subscribers to date. Wi-Tribe attributed the robust sales to “good service quality and value for money plans” starting at P598 for 512 kbps. Wi-Tribe claims that this makes the plan the cheapest stand-alone broadband service in the country.

The company’s “unlimited” services, however, comes with a qualifier for truly heavy users.

“We have a smart network that has a trigger set to throttle the speed down. We are reviewing the fair-use policy for heavy users, as other operators are now implementing here and around the world,” said Simon Burckhardt, Wi-Tribe chief commercial adviser, in a press conference called by Wi-Tribe Telecoms, formerly Liberty Broadcasting Network, Inc. (LBNI). Wi-Tribe is backed by San Miguel Corp. and Qatar Telecoms Group.

For plan P599, with Internet speeds of up to 512 kbps, Wi-Tribe said it will remove a the 1GB data cap. The company also said it has removed a 6GB data cap on subscribers under its Plan P998, which comes with up to 1mbps of internet speed. Wi-Tribe’s Plan P1,998, which used to have a data cap of 12GB, now offers an internet speed of up to 2mbps.

“With today’s announcement of the removal of our data caps we believe we now offer the best value broadband internet service in the market,” company product head Edmund Pike said.

In recent days, however, Wi-Tribe had also been warning heavy users that they may be penalized for usage beyond what the company would consider “normal”.

A typical message to heavy-usage Wi-Tribe customers – those that “have been regularly using the service at a very high level over the past months” – warns that Wi-Tribe “may be regulating your usage to ensure it comes down to a more normal level. You may find your service speed significantly reduced on some days during this month and possibly future months if your usage is still way above normal."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Globe unleashes 10Mbps ?Lamborghini? broadband stick

Ayala-owned Globe Telecom, through its nomadic broadband brand Tattoo, has launched its broadband stick that allows subscribers to have Internet speeds of up to 10Mbps.

The Tattoo Tonino Lamborghini is said to be the fastest mobile broadband dongle available in the market today, with speeds of up to 5x faster than regular broadband sticks.

Globe said Tattoo Tonino Lamborghini is the first service offered under the company’s 4G mobile network, which utilizes the global standard HSPA+.

To date, commercial deployment of HSPA+ has doubled, with presence now available in Mandaluyong, Navotas, Caloocan and Valenzuela. Expansion will continue within the next few months in more cities and areas in Metro Manila.

Dong Ronquillo, head of Globe Tattoo said, “Finally, the wait is over. Our subscribers can experience the real 4G technology with the new Tattoo Tonino Lamborghini, the pioneering offer under our portfolio of 4G services. We have partnered with car company Lamborghini to brand our latest Tattoo offer. Lamborghini is known for producing the fastest race cars while Tattoo is all about providing the fastest broadband speeds.”

The Tattoo Tonino Lamborghini is available under Tattoo’s newest postpaid plan for P2,199 monthly.

The package also includes free 200 text messages to Globe/TM. Regular SMS, voice, and other services will be charged on top of the monthly fee.

Apart from this offer, Tattoo is also introducing faster speeds for its two postpaid plans at no extra charge for new and existing postpaid subscribers.

Starting June 6, Tattoo Plan 999 subscribers can enjoy Internet speeds of up to 3Mbps instead of 2Mbps.

Tattoo Plan 1299 subscribers using Tattoo Superstick can maximize surfing on speeds of up to 5Mbps from 3Mbps.

Upgrade to a Tattoo MyFi device has also been reduced, now at P100 monthly from P149, available for Tattoo Plan 499 and 999.

Tattoo Tonino Lamborghini subscribers can upgrade to a Tattoo MyFi for P50 monthly.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Globe pioneers launch of video message service

In another Philippine first, Globe Telecom is pioneering the launch of Video Message Service (VMS), another breakthrough service that allow users to engage more with their mobile phones as well as their friends.

Touted as one of the most interactive media channels available for mobile phone users today, VMS allows users to create, view, upload and share video content through their handsets.

With VMS, subscribers can send and receive video messages just like text messages.

It also allows users to connect with their favorite celebrities by following their video blogs and music videos, watching their video clips, or being updated with the latest happenings and events. iPhone and Android users can enjoy the VMS application by downloading it for free from the App Store or Android Market.

BlackBerry and Symbian phones will be supported very soon.

Enhancing the way people communicate, VMS is perfect for personal messages, allowing users to connect via video instead of text or voice messaging.

Upon access of the VMS application, the VMS interactive menu will be installed on subscribers’ mobile phones, allowing them to record a video message, send or view a peer-to-peer (P2P) video, or download video clips of their favorite shows or celebrity video interviews and blogs.

To bring the innovative service closer to mobile phone users in the country, Globe has partnered with Ironroad Manila for the VMS platform and GMA New Media, Inc. (NMI) for exclusive VMS content in the form of short clips of GMA TV shows and celebrity video blogs.

Subscribers can also follow local and foreign video bloggers and acquire premium content offered by VMS broadcasters around the world.

As a special treat, VMS be will available for free to subscribers of My Super Surf Plan, the company’s newest unlimited postpaid data plans.

Under the Globe My Super Surf Plan, VMS users can enjoy creating and sharing mobile videos on their favorite gadget until July 31, 2011.

This new service is even more exciting when used with Globe Telecom’s 4G mobile network which utilizes the global standard HSPA+, allowing faster and more seamless access to various types of video content on the mobile phone.

"We are very excited to bring another innovation to our subscribers with the launch of the VMS. Through VMS, we are giving our subscribers another opportunity to enjoy their mobile phones apart from texting, calling or doing mobile internet. With this new technology, we are strengthening the connections and bonds of every Filipino by providing them yet another exciting and innovative platform to share their precious moments with each other," said Joanna Africa, Head for Portfolio Management of Globe Telecom.

Apart from the partnership, Globe will also be supporting the launch with a massive campaign that involves on-ground and experiential activities to allow subscribers to fully enjoy the VMS experience.