Internet for All: SmartNet recognized as best telco OTT service

MANILA, March 6 (PNA) — SmartNet, a revolutionary platform that allows subscribers of Philippine mobile leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) to use mobile Internet safely and affordably, was recently recognized during the inaugural Telecoms.com Awards in Barcelona, Spain.

For creating an innovative solution that addresses users’ need for relevant mobile services, SmartNet was given the Best operator OTT (over-the-top) service launch award by Telecoms.com, its third international award in the span of a year.

Other OTT services from European operators were also nominated in the category, including those from British Telecom, the Myriad Group of France/Switzerland, and Portugal Telecom.

“SmartNet brings a taste of being an always-on data user to everyone. It helps build the habit of accessing the Internet by removing the fear associated with data usage” said Benjie Fernandez, chief operating officer at Voyager Innovations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Smart Communications which drives the exploration and creation of disruptive services for the rapidly changing digital world.

SmartNet was previously recognized for promoting the growth of mobile Internet use in emerging markets such as the Philippines, where more than a third of the population have yet to experience the benefits of having an Internet connection.

SmartNet uses a “freemium” model that offers free access to various mobile apps and services and an innovative “Safe Zone” feature that acts as an anti-Bill Shock mechanism for mobile data access. The latter addresses the common fear of users about unexpected data charges on their mobile subscription while still allowing white listed applications and URLs to be accessed.

By installing SmartNet on their phones, subscribers are given a bandwidth-efficient way to access their favorite online services, including preview versions of social networking apps such as Facebook and Twitter and messaging services such as Babble Messenger.

Soon, SmartNet will also have the AyosDito app available in its already impressive suite of free content services. Smart is the only Philippine telco to offer access to the widest range of digital content services for free to its more than 56 million subscribers nationwide.

“Because of the revolutionary patented technology behind SmartNet, Smart is able to sustainably offer access to these services for free without adverse effects on network reliability,” added Mitch Padua, head for Digital Content at Voyager.

“SmartNet also addresses telcos’ struggle with the rise of OTT apps by putting mobile operators back into the center of the mobile ecosystem.”

SmartNet has been hailed by other international awards programs for serving as a model for emerging markets where users are still wary of using mobile Internet services.

In 2013, SmartNet was recognized as the Best Consumer Service during the World Communications Awards in London, and was also cited as the Best Content Service at the Asia Communications Awards in Singapore. Since its launch in 2011, SmartNet has garnered more than 1.6 million users around the country.

Aside from SmartNet, other Smart services have also been shortlisted in the first Telecoms.com Awards including Smart Satellite Services for the Connecting the Unconnected Award, the Katok-At-Tex offers of Smart’s value brand Talk ‘N Text for the Mobile Pricing Innovation Award, and Smart’s Self-Care program for the CEM Award for customer relationship management.

Telecoms.com is a leading provider of news, analysis, and opinion about the telco industry.(PNA)