Red Mobile eyes more subscribers with Smart cellsites

By Michelle Orosa, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2009 07:27 PM | Updated as of Jul 03 2009 04:06 AM

MANILA - Red Mobile, the cellular brand of Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises Inc. (CURE), said it is targeting 500,000 more subscribers within the next 12 months as it taps the existing infrastructure of its affiliate Smart Communications Inc.

Officials from Smart said Red Mobile can now use the company's 8,000 cellular sites nationwide, the widest in the Philippine mobile network industry. This will allow Red Mobile services previously offered exclusively to third-generation (3G) phones to be used in more affordable second-generation (2G) handsets.

"(Red Mobile) currently has 100,000 subscribers, and that's a good number. But we're seeing steeper trajectory due to the new variants of services it is releasing now," Smart Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando Vea said.

According to Smart Group Head for Wireless Consumer Division Annie Naval, no additional investment was made for the enabling of 2G services for the network.

"(Red Mobile) is now tapping into the existing infrastructure of Smart," she said.

Red Mobile currently offers the lowest rates in prepaid networks, with Red to Red voice and video calls at P0.50 per minute. It also provides a rate of P0.50 per text message exclusively for Red Mobile subscribers.

Regular rates of P6.50 per minute and P1 per text message are implemented for calls and text messages to other networks.

Even with these low rates, Smart officials expressed confidence that Red Mobile's entry into the 2G market will not affect its networks, particularly its mass-market brand Talk 'N Text.

"Talk N' Text caters to the grassroots level, while Red Mobile addresses the needs of the young student population who are more into video calls and yet seriously considers the affordability and efficiency of rates as well," Smart Spokesperson Mon Isberto said.