Online Messaging Service: Smart brings Internet to mobile phones

Tech-savvy youth can look forward to a new school year with a handy educational tool, mobile Internet.

Smart Communications Inc. has bundled its suite of Internet-based applications accessible via mobile phone under the category Online Messaging Services (OMS).

Danilo Mojica, head of Smart’s Wireless Consumer Division, notes that with four in every five Filipinos carrying a cellphone, the Internet is now more accessible to more people through OMS.

Students on a fixed allowance can take advantage of a variety of “all-you-can-use,” flat-fee data packages that offer unlimited e-mail, chat, social networking and surfing via their mobile phones.

Go Mail is under Smart OMS, so students don’t need high-end devices like smartphones or netbooks to access their e-mail and communicate with friends and family.

“Smart intends to make e-mail as ubiquitous as SMS or text messaging,” Mojica says. “Advancing mobile e-mail will help Smart turn e-mail into another universally available service, regardless of handset used.”

E-mail like texting

Subscribers like high-school student Nino Marc Casinday, 13, is now able to e-mail his widower father, who works as a nurse in Ontario, Canada, as often as he wants. “I keep my father updated on my activities and progress in school,” he says.

With Go Mail, Casinday takes advantage of affordable access to unlimited e-mail through his cellphone. For the flat rate of P20 a day, or only P199 a month, subscribers can read and reply to their MSN, Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! e-mails, which are “pushed” to their cellphone. No need to pull and no need to download. E-mail is received as easily as text messages on the e-mail inbox, and sending one is as easy as composing an SMS.

Smart Go Mail is especially accessible to students since it works on all handset models. To avail oneself of Smart Go Mail, text MAIL send to 7077 to trigger set-up instructions. Upon registration, text BUY send to 7077 (e.g. BUY MONTHLY to 7077)

For quick, “bite-size” messaging, Smart OMS also features Uzzap, which offers unlimited instant messaging – or “chatting” – from mobile phones, for the flat rate of only P10 a day.

With Uzzap, students can also join common-interest chat rooms, or set up “private chat rooms,” say, with project group mates, or connect with other popular instant messaging services, all via their handset.

To download and install the Uzzap application for free, text UZZAP to 7272.

Staying connected

For John Mitch Consul, a high school junior whose family has just transferred residence, keeping in touch with friends means regular visits to the 500-million-strong social network Facebook.

“See you in FB,” he posted as his “status” to assure his old friends and former classmates he would stay in touch. This “status update” is just one of about 25 billion unique pieces of information that Facebook members like Consul reportedly share on the site, along with photos, notes and links, among others.

Under Smart OMS, Consul and his peers can share hundreds more photos and keep updating their status by taking advantage of the Web Unli service. For the fixed price of only P20 a day per site, Web Unli offers 24 hours of unlimited access via mobile phone to some of the most popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Multiply, Friendster, Photobucket and Flickr.

For the same affordable rate, they can also access news and current affairs sites such as BBC, TMZ, ESPN, and even NBA. Other sites such as Cosmopolitan, eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia and online directory EYP are also accessible via Web Unli at only P20 a day per site.

Unlimited browsing

Students can access Google, Yahoo! News, Wikipedia, and other reference materials for research using UnliSurf 50, which offers 24 hours of unlimited mobile browsing for only P50.

UnliSurf 300 is good for seven days for only P300, while UnliSurf 1200 offers 30 days or a whole month of unlimited mobile browsing for only P1,200. With the unlimited browsing package, the student can also do unlimited chat and e-mail via the available providers on the Web.

To take advantage of these plans that fit students’ preference and budget, simply visit http://ping.fm/pFkNJ using a Smart cellphone and select the package from the list, or text SURF to 211 to get information about the service.

“We’re making it much easier for students to access the Internet while on the go, with the device that they have in their pockets all day,” says Mojica.

“Smart’s network has the reach and capacity to support the growing needs and more defined preferences of our subscribers,” he adds.

To access any of the Smart OMS services, visit http://ping.fm/ytA50 or using a mobile phone, http://ping.fm/q7Mq2

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