In this digital age where there is increased demand for multimedia content, the network of e-load resellers of PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications has been reaping the benefits of Smart’s retailing business. Smart Ka-Partner program helps small retailers uplift their livelihood and provide a more connected community around them.
A budding entrepreneur, Adelaida Andrade from Dasmariñas, Cavite, signed up with the Smart Ka-Partner program in 2007 when her sari-sari store was beginning to flourish.
“I resigned from my job in a pharmaceutical company in Manila because of the uneasy commute,” said Mommy Dely, as her neighbors fondly called her. “I thought that a sari-sari store could be more profitable given our area is populated.”
At the time, her husband, Guillermo Andrade, was working in Saudi Arabia as a trailer driver. He has been working overseas since 1985, and retired only three years ago.
Mommy Dely, then a housewife with no kids, exerted much of her time maintaining and growing their small business. The sari-sari store began with selling rice, canned goods, and ice. Eventually, she noticed the growing demand from her neighbors and decided to add Smart load to her list of products.
“Almost all my neighbors here are either Smart, TNT, or Sun subscribers. Even I use Smart in communicating with my husband abroad so I had no doubts in choosing Smart as my business partner,” said Mommy Dely.
Eleven years later and now a Smart Ka-Partner retailer, Mommy Dely has been able to expand not only her business but also their house with an added floor to accommodate a new member of the family—her daughter Precious. She has also been experiencing a boost in income due to customers’ growing mobile data needs.
A regular customer of Mommy Dely, Erick Naral, is a night shift security guard at a nearby school. “I use Panalo Data 30 because it offers 500MB worth of data that lasts up to two days.” Naral explained that he tops up his load at Mommy Dely’s store at least four times a week. “I watch videos on YouTube to distract myself from fatigue and sleepiness because my shift runs from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily,” Naral added.
Mommy Dely is now looking forward to the -ber months. “Every year, I anticipate the surge of customers starting September because of the local festivities and gatherings—it’s the most fruitful time of the year for retailers like me,” she said candidly.
Smart customer development manager for Cavite Edgar Espinocilla said the increase in sales might be because of today’s demands as, “the generation now prefers electronic devices and urges high internet speed from their network provider.”
Smart’s enhanced mobile data speeds highly contributed to the apparent sales growth of the data bundles in the province of Cavite. “Because of the overall improvement, Smart can catch up to the demands of the customers, making it the preferred network provider in our area,” Espinocilla added.
Smart Ka-Partner program continues to keep its network of retailers engaged and motivated so that more mobile users can gain access to Smart’s data services and more.
Accelerated network rollout
Smart is accelerating its deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE), LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) and carrier aggregation as part of Smart’s efforts to improve mobile data experience all over the Philippines.
In areas where Smart has already improved its network, such as in Quezon City and Marikina, small business owners and retailers have also reported an increase in earnings, boosted by improved mobile internet experience in their area.
These efforts are in line with Smart’s commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to bring high-speed mobile data using LTE, LTE-A and 3G to over 90 percent of the country’s cities and municipalities.
In 2018, Smart is doubling the number of LTE base stations to about 17,700 nationwide and raising the number of LTE-equipped cell sites to more than 6,800 this year, using frequencies that are compatible with CA-capable smartphones available in the market today.
Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation. Capital expenditures is expected to reach P58 billion this year, including allocations for the aggressive rollout of its fiber broadband service, which also supports the stepped-up deployment of the mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.