Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. (Digitel) through its mobile brand Sun Cellular (Sun), and Smart subsidiary Voyager Innovations, Inc. (Voyager) announced a strategic partnership with Waze (waze.com) to expand local awareness of the crowdsourced navigation app and help Philippines drivers save time on every drive. The wireless services companies, part of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) [NYSE:PHI], will be the first Philippine mobile operator partners of the social navigation pioneer.
Waze combines GPS navigation technology with social networking, enabling users to swiftly identify the fastest and most efficient map routes. Millions of Waze drivers enable the service to adjust its reports in real time, based on constantly changing road conditions such as heavy traffic or accidents.
Through this partnership, the companies will encourage further expansion of Waze usage in the Philippines through a marketing, promotion and distribution agreement to Smart and Sun’s more than 73.4 million subscribers.
In addition to special promotions, Smart and Sun will pre-install the Waze application on smartphones bundled under its commercial postpaid and prepaid offerings. The Waze Philippines map will display Smart- and Sun-branded retail pins to help extend both companies’ customer service.
Voyager will serve as a critical partner, working with Waze for technology integration and exchange of map data for both Smart and Sun.
“Waze is one of the most innovative and fast-rising mobile apps in the world and we’re proud to make this available to our subscribers. With our fast-growing smartphone subscriber base, Waze is an exciting addition to the growing number of Smart and Sun’s leading global mobile apps partners,” said Orlando B. Vea, Chief Wireless Advisor, Smartand president of Digitel.
“Waze provides real-time and community-based information to make navigating traffic easier, allowing users to better make use of their time to live more. It is especially useful in the high-traffic areas of the country’s major cities and has a growing user base in the Philippines. This partnership is mutually beneficial to all parties – with our subscribers enjoying a world-class mobile app and with Waze having access to the biggest share of the Philippine mobile services market.” said Charles A. Lim, EVP and Head, Consumer Wireless Business Group for Smart and Sun.
“Voyager is bringing Waze, a leading crowd-sourced mapping and traffic information app experience to the Philippines. By downloading the app, users can gain access to a rich navigation experience thru the mobile phone - no need for another gadget. It is just the beginning-- we are bringing more of these innovative services to enrich everyday life,” said Jose Benjamin S. Fernandez, Chief Operating Officer, Voyager.
Early this year, Waze was recognized as Best Overall App at the Global Mobile Awards 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. With the Philippines as one of the fast-growing smartphone markets in Southeast Asia, mobile apps and data usage is on the rise. This process is further enabled by the availability of affordable mobile Internet rates and deployment of supercharged networks of Smart and Sun LTE (long-term evolution), the fastest available wireless connectivity to date.
About Smart Communications, Inc.
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is the Philippines' leading wireless services provider with 57.3 million subscribers on its GSM network as of end-June 2013. Smart has built a reputation for innovation, having introduced world-first wireless offerings such as Smart Money, Smart Load, Smart Padala, the Netphone, and Smart LTE. Smart also offers 3G and HSPA+ services, while its satellite service, Smart Link, provides communications to the global maritime industry. Smart Broadband, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, offers a wireless broadband service, Smart Broadband, with 1.8million subscribers as of end-June 2013. Smart is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Philippines' leading telecommunications carrier, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. For more information, visit smart.com.ph.
About Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc.
Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. (Digitel), a member of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company Group, is one of the Philippines’ leading mobile telecommunications companies. It offers a wide range of service innovations for mobile telephony from voice, messaging and international roaming services, to wireless broadband and value-added services for consumers and businesses alike through its mobile brand Sun Cellular. As a renowned frontrunner in the industry, Sun Cellular has been notable for significant breakthroughs like unlimited services and the Anti-Bill Shock charging system which continue to encourage the market to embrace mobile technology. It has received accolades over the years with awards such as the Philippines’ Mobile Service Provider of the Year for 2011 and 2012 by the esteemed Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Best Practices Awards in Singapore.
About Voyager Innovations, Inc.
Voyager Innovations, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) focused on delivering disruptive innovations for the PLDT group of companies. Voyager is looking at the adjacent spaces around the core telecommunications business working on its intersections with various industries. Voyager is where technology meets life, actively participating in leading edge technology standards, while keeping an eye on what’s possible today.
Waze is the social navigation pioneer, leveraging mobile technology, big data and a passionate global community to redefine expectations of today’s maps. Waze is home to the world’s largest network of drivers who work together daily to outsmart traffic and save time and money. The app consistently recommends the fastest routes based on real-time driving and data from millions of users. From traffic reroutes to low gas price alerts and relevant offers from favorite brands, Waze is one of the most comprehensive driving companions in the marketplace. To download the free Waze app for iOS or Android, visit http://www.waze.com.