Smart programs recognized by international community

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Sunday, December 29, 2013


SMART Communications, Inc. received recognition in 2013 from several international awards programs for its services and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

SmartNet, a platform that allows Smart subscribers to use mobile Internet services safely and affordably, was named Best Consumer Service at the World Communication Awards ceremony held in London last Dec. 3. Just last June, SmartNet won Best Content Service at the Asia Communication Awards (ACA) program in Singapore.

SmartNet, which has been downloaded for free by about 1.5 million Android, iOS and Windows users, offers the use of popular mobile applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Chat, and Yahoo! Messenger for free. It also allows users to browse Smart’s news aggregator service Headlines, and use Yahoo! search and email services on their mobile device without added data charges.

A key feature of SmartNet is a widget called Safe Zone, which serves as the platform’s anti-bill shock solution. By simply pressing the widget’s “Internet button,” users can turn “off” all apps outside of the SmartNet suite of applications. If users want to access Internet services outside of SmartNet, they can just press the widget’s Internet button once more to turn “on” these services. Only then will regular data charges apply.

Project Noah

Smart’s CSR programs were also recognized in Asia and Europe. Last April, the company received the Best Community Telecom Project citation at the Telecom Asia Awards ceremony in Malaysia for its leading role in helping develop the Android app for the Project Noah website of the Department of Science and Technology and Pagasa Weather Bureau.

Smart Txtbks, a campaign that used mobile technology to literally lighten the load of public school students, won for the Philippines its first ever Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. This is the highest honor given by what is considered in the industry as the Oscars of advertising. The initiative, spearheaded by Smart and creative agency DM9JaymeSyfu, involved the conversion of textbooks and workbooks into SIM content that could be read by public school children using affordable analog phones.

Smart Txtbks also received the Grand Prix of the Year recognition at the AdStars International Advertising Festival in South Korea.

Environment

Smart also received awards for its efforts to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment. Last September in Indonesia, the company was named winner in the Environment and Value Chain Management category of the Asian CSR Awards 2013 for its Green Merchandising program, which involves the use of eco-friendly materials for outdoor and in-store advertising and merchandising. Smart has been using recyclable banners and recycled paper for its posters, flyers, and other materials. It has also used stone paper which gradually photodegrades and eventually becomes stone again.

At the ACA ceremony in Singapore, Smart received the Social Contribution Award for Project Zero, a livelihood program which taps a community of former trash scavengers in Iloilo to upcycle Smart’s used tarpaulin materials into bags, tents, and other useful materials. Aside from donating tarp, Smart also provided funding and helped train the residents to effectively manage their livelihood and market their products.

Smart was also recognized for its customer service program Project Visa, a campaign that encourages Smart’s 56 million subscribers to use self-care channels to quickly complete various customer service transactions. The initiative bagged a Gold Quill merit award during ceremonies held in New York last June. (PR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 30, 2013.

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