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 partners with Smart
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, Smart and 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.