GMA News Online
Pinoy Abroad

Joint venture offers prepaid services to Pinoys in Malaysia

December 10, 2011 1:59pm
Filipinos in Malaysia may now avail of affordable prepaid mobile phone services from a joint venture between PLDT Global Corp. and Celcom Axiata Berhad.

The “SMART Pinoy” service offers local call rates for as low as RM0.12 (P1.65) per minute, with text messages costing only RM0.01 (P0.14).

“This is our way of reciprocating the hard work and dedication of [overseas Filipino workers] OFWs, our modern-day heroes, by providing them with relevant communication services,” PLDT-Smart Senior Vice President and Head Ernesto Alberto said.

Subscribers will also be able to call the Philippines for as low as RM0.48/minute (P6.6/minute) and text messaging for only RM0.20 per SMS (P2.75).

An additional special feature is the DOS service, which gives subscribers a SMART Virtual Number (SVN) that will allow their loved ones in the Philippines to send text messages to Malaysia at local Philippine rates.

The SMART Pinoy SIM pack will be available at RM8.50 (P116.87) with a preloaded credit of RM5 (P68.75) and can be purchased at SMART Pinoy Wireless Centers in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu and at selected Celcom dealers around Malaysia.

CELCOM is part of the Axiata Group of Companies, a leading regional telecommunications company, with more than 175 million customers across 10 Asian markets.

PLDT Global has subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and most recently in Guam. Other markets targeted by PLDT are the Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

Signing the business agreement last November 30 at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel were Senior Vice President and Head Ernesto Alberto of Enterprise and International and Carrier Business Groups of the PLDT and SMART Communications Inc., PLDT Global President and CEO Alejandro Caeg.

Representing CELCOM were CEO Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly and Chief Sales and Commercial Officer Eric Chong.

Philippine Ambassador-designate to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya witnessed the signing ceremony and launch of SMART Pinoy.

“This joint venture is another important milestone in the growing Philippines-Malaysia business relations. We encourage more collaboration between our respective business sectors, particularly on services that benefit overseas Filipinos in Malaysia as well as Malaysian tourists in the Philippines,” Malaya said.

PLDT Global will have a 51-percent stake in the joint venture, while the Malaysian company will have the remaining 49 percent.

Philippine companies active in Malaysia include:
- San Miguel Corporation/Petron Philippines which recently acquired the controlling interest in Esso Malaysia Berhad

- URC Snacks Food Sdn. Bhd

- Century Motolite Battery

- Axexorize (m) Sdn. Bhd.
Malaysian companies operating in the Philippines include Resorts World Hotel, Shangri-La Hotels, Malayan Banking Corporation (Maybank) and MTD Capital Bhd, which recently upgraded the South Luzon Expressway. — LBG, GMA News
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