Facebook’s Internet.org app debuts in SE Asia with Smart’s Talk ‘N Text

To help bring the mobile Internet to all Filipinos, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) through its value brand Talk ‘N Text, has partnered with Facebook to introduce the Internet.org app, offering a set of mobile internet services – including useful education, news, health, messaging and communication – without  data charges.

For its initial phase, Internet.org app allows Filipinos to enjoy free access to a buffet of 24 websites featuring informative and practical content (see list attached), including Facebook and Messenger, on their mobile phones. 

Talk ‘N Text (TNT) endorser Robin Padilla takes a “groupfie” with (from left) Smart Co-Founder and Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea; PLDT & Smart Chair Manuel V. Pangilinan; Facebook Director for Global Operator Partnerships Markku Makelainen; Facebook Head of International Growth & Partnerships Lior Tal; PLDT President and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno; and Smart EVP and Wireless Consumer Business Head Charles A. Lim at the launch of Facebook’s Internet.Org App with Smart’s budget brand TNT.

Internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative that aims to make mobile Internet services available to two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected. Smart is the first telco to launch with Internet.org app in the Philippines, and today’s launch marks the first time the Internet.org app will be available in Southeast Asia.

Since 2014, Internet.org has rolled out in six countries, including Colombia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Zambia, enabling people to browse useful information and websites with zero data charges.

Bannering the Internet.org app launch in the Philippines is Smart’s budget brand Talk ‘N Text, which targets the larger mass segment of the population.  The service is also available for Smart and Sun subscribers. The services can be accessed from the Internet.org Android app or by visiting www.internet.org from a mobile browser.

Addressing barriers
“We are working with operators, content partners, and governments from all over the world to address the barriers that prevent people from connecting and joining the knowledge economy. We are excited to bring Internet.org app to the Philippines and give people access to internet services and tools that can help create new ideas and opportunities,” said Markku Makelainen, director of global operator partnerships at Facebook.

“Smart’s partnership with Facebook is a big boost to our ‘Internet for All’ campaign, an advocacy we have been strongly pushing for. By launching Internet.org app with Facebook in the Philippines, we are making useful information within reach of millions of Filipinos,” said Smart president and chief executive officer Napoleon L. Nazareno.

The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines estimates that only 38 percent of the country’s population had Internet access in mid-2014.

Access to 24 websites
Subscribers may download the Internet.org app on Google Play Store. They may also simply text INTERNET to 9999 to enjoy the services.

With the Internet.org app on their mobile phones, TNT, Smart and Sun subscribers nationwide may now access general information on Ask.com, Bing, Dictionary.com, wikiHow and Wikipedia; get news updates on Inquirer, PhilStar, Interaksyon, and Rappler; stay updated on sports through ESPN and SPIN.PH; check out the weather and climate through Accuweather and RainCheckPH; and enjoy stories via Wattpad.

They may also check out free programs and trainings on the official website of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority at TESDA.gov.ph; check employment opportunities on Jobstreet; sell items on OLX.ph; gain financial literacy via PesosandSense and YourMoney.com; learn about women’s issues in sites like BabyCenter & MAMA and Girl Effect; and access health information on UNICEF’s Facts for Life.

On top of these sites, subscribers may enjoy the services of Facebook and Facebook Messenger, which they may use to connect to loved ones and friends.

Milestone for Digital Inclusion
“Through Internet.org, Smart and Facebook are able to provide Filipinos with a vast wealth of information at their fingertips, which in turn opens up doors for greater social opportunities for them – at no extra cost. This service is what we call ‘panalo’ or a ‘win’ for our subscribers, and embodies the brand’s celebration of life’s small victories every day,” said Charles A. Lim, Executive Vice President and Wireless Consumer Division Head of Smart and Sun.

“Serendipitously, the launch of this initiative comes a week before we celebrate the 21st anniversary of the country’s first connection to the Internet on March 29. This is an excellent way to commemorate this milestone of the Internet in the Philippines,” Nazareno noted.

As early as 2011, Smart launched SmartNet which offers free access to a suite of popular mobile apps. It also allows users to browse Smart’s news aggregator service Headlines, and use Yahoo! search and email services on their mobile phone without added data charges.

In 2013, Smart introduced PowerApp which lets subscribers enjoy Internet packages (Photo, Social, Chat, Email, and Unli packages) for as low as P10 a day. The following year, the company offered PisoNet to enable Talk ‘N Text subscribers to access apps and websites on their mobile devices for only P1 per 10 minutes.

And in September last year, Smart launched its successful Free Internet promo which gives prepaid, postpaid, and broadband subscribers of Smart, Sun Cellular, and Talk ‘N Text 30 MB of free mobile Internet access per day. 

Smart continues to have the largest and most advanced network in the country today, with a total of 26,242 cellular/broadband base stations, including 11,083 active 4G/HSPA+/Long-Term Evolution (LTE) base stations supported by more than 90,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cables around the country.

For more information, please visit http://www.talkntext.com.ph/internetorg

Using the Internet.org Android App or by visiting www.internet.org from their mobile browser, subscribers of Talk ‘N Text, Smart and Sun Cellular may enjoy free access to 24 websites, including Facebook and Messenger. The other sites are:

Every day over a billion people worldwide rely on AccuWeather to help them plan their lives, protect their businesses, and get more from their day. AccuWeather is the world’s largest and fastest growing weather media company, and leading cross-platform provider of the most accurate, global weather information.
We partner with all major mobile device manufacturers, developers, and distributors, and serve up to 10 billion requests for AccuWeather weather data from all over the world every day. Across mobile and other platforms, we provide our unique and trusted forecasts in more than 100 languages and dialects for all locations on Earth.

Ask.com is the No. 1 question answering service that delivers the best answers from the web and real people – all in one place.

BabyCenter.com and MAMA
BabyCenter® is the voice of the 21st Century Mom® and modern motherhood. It's the No. 1 pregnancy and parenting digital destination worldwide, reaching more than 40 million moms monthly in 11 languages across 14 owned and operated properties from Australia to India to China. In the United States, 7 in 10 babies born last year were BabyCenter babies.
BabyCenter is the world's partner in parenting, providing moms everywhere with trusted advice from hundreds of experts around the globe, friendship with other moms like them, and support that's remarkably right at every stage of their child's development.
BabyCenter also works with some of the world's most prominent brands and institutions to provide life-stage marketing solutions and a direct line to highly engaged moms. BabyCenter has established a global giving program called Mission Motherhood™ and partners with esteemed organizations to help make motherhood safer for all women. BabyCenter is a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

Bing is a search engine that brings together the best of search and people in your social networks to help you spend less time searching and more time doing.

Dictionary.com is the top online resource for English words, definitions, pronunciation, example sentences, synonyms, and antonyms.  Our service includes dictionary.com, thesaurus.com for synonyms and antonyms, and a translation service that covers 43 languages.  It is an important resource for students, teachers, writers, business people, and anyone who needs to know more about words.

ESPN is the leading digital provider of sports news, information and coverage in the world.  The company’s mission is to serve fans anytime, anywhere. Its participation in Internet.org will allow millions of newly connected people in the Philippines to get the most authoritative and trusted voice for sports news, scores and information. From the NBA to the Barclays Premier League, and from boxing to baseball and much more, ESPN delivers the pulse from around the world of sport.  ESPNcricinfo, the company’s dedicated cricket site, launched with Internet.org in India, and other ESPN properties such as ESPN FC (dedicated to global football) are also anticipated. ESPN’s participation is also expected to include other emerging markets as part of a continuation with the Internet.org initiative.

Facts for Life, www.factsforlifeglobal.org
Facts for Life provides information to help save, improve and protect children's lives, and should be shared widely with families, health workers, teachers, youth groups, women's groups, community organizations, government officials, employers, trade unions, media, and non-governmental and faith-based organizations.
Published by UNICEF, Facts for Life is designed to educate those who have influence over the safety and well-being of children. Through simple messages, it aims to bring life-saving knowledge to every corner of the world.

Girl Effect, www.girleffect.org
Girl Effect: Read articles and tips for girls. The Girl Effect is a movement. It's about the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world. It's about getting girls on to the global development agenda and driving massive resources to them.
The Girl Effect was created by the Nike Foundation in collaboration with the NoVo Foundation, United Nations Foundation and Coalition for Adolescent Girls. Today, the Girl Effect is driven by hundreds of thousands of supporters who believe in the potential of 250 million adolescent girls living in poverty.

INQUIRER.net features 24/7 breaking news, the latest on local and international issues and events, and compelling commentaries on Politics,  Entertainment, Sports, Lifestyle, Business, and Technology, Global Nation for Filipinos who want to know more about the latest from the Philippines. It offers multimedia features, easy channel navigation, strong social media presence and numerous engagement platforms that allow the readers to experience and be part of the news no matter where they are.

InterAksyon.com is the online news portal of TV5, a television and radio broadcasting network based in Quezon City, Philippines. News on InterAksyon.com is gathered from its own dedicated news team, from the news pool of News5, which includes TV5 and its affiliate radio station, Radyo Singko 92.3 FM, and from various news wire services.

JobStreet.com is one of Asia’s leading online employment marketplaces. We help facilitate the matching and communication of job opportunities between jobseekers and employers in Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam. JobStreet.com is the No. 1 job site in the Philippines and is used by more than 22,000 top companies posting around 100,000 jobs per month. More importantly, what makes us No. 1 is that we are the most trusted job site by Filipinos:  Right now we have over 5.5 million Filipino candidates nationwide who use our service.

OLX.ph is the largest buy and sell platform in the Philippines where people can sell their secondhand items for free and find the best deals from different categories, such as clothing, phones, computers, cars, home appliances, etc.

Pesos and Sense is an educational company that covers a wide range of personal finance and investment topics that typically intimidates the average Filipino: the stock market, mutual funds, insurance, budgeting and debt management etc.  Our goal is to empower Filipinos by teaching simple and practical knowledge in making independent and wise choices in handling their money.

Philstar.com is the leading Philippine news and entertainment online portal for the Filipino global community. Get updated with the latest news and entertainment as they happen anytime, anywhere and in all digital platforms. Philstar.com carries content from the STAR Group of Publications (The Philippine Star, Pilipino Star Ngayon, The Freeman, Banat, PangMasa and People Asia), a leading print publisher of newspapers and magazines in the Philippines.

Brought by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Project NOAH, Interaksyon, and Voyager Innovations, RaincheckPH is the first rain preparedness mobile application in the Philippines which can alert you with 95% accuracy if it is going to rain in your exact location. It utilizes the most accurate and advanced weather technology from DOST’s Project NOAH. With capacity to add multiple locations, you can get notifications as well if it’s going to rain at work, school or other destinations.

Rappler.com is a social news network where stories inspire community engagement and digitally fueled actions for social change. We promise uncompromised journalism that inspires smart conversations and ignites a thirst for change.  Aside from evolving journalism with technology, Rappler uses its platform to address age-old problems like disaster risk reduction & climate change, hunger, corruption and women's issues through its citizen engagement arm Move.PH and initiatives like Project Agos, #HungerProject and #BudgetWatch. At Rappler, tomorrow begins today.

Filipinos have always enjoyed sports. Whether it be watching with their friends or playing it in the field, it has always been equally intense and engaging on both ends. Indeed, the shared passion for sports drives avid fanatics to be constantly on the lookout for the latest in the world of sports. And that is exactly what Spin.ph provides sports enthusiasts all over the country – latest sports news, game schedules and scores, game reviews, and many more.
Readers can even enjoy the games as if they were actually there, thanks to the live updates and full coverage available both on the website and SPIN.ph’s fast-growing social media accounts.
A hub for all sports fanatics, SPIN.ph is the platform where Filipinos can interact, enjoy, and experience everything about sports and more. Spin.ph is where all the action is. Ranked No. 1 in the sports category. Awarded Best Sports Website by Digital Filipino in 2013.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is the government agency tasked to manage and supervise technical education and skills development in the Philippines. TESDA’s official website offers information on programs, online courses and special training meant to develop the Filipino workforce with world-class competence and positive work values.

More than 40 million people have joined Wattpad, making it the world’s largest community of readers and writers. People use Wattpad to connect with each other while they discover and share millions of free stories. Wattpad stories are available in more than 50 languages and can be read or written from any phone, tablet, or computer. The company is proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Learn more at www.wattpad.com.

WikiHow is the easiest way to learn how to do anything. Whether you want to learn how to tie a bow tie, fold origami, lucid dream, or anything, wikiHow offers simple step-by-step instructions to help you. Published in 13 languages and read by millions of people every day, wikiHow is the world’s most popular how-to website. Easily learn how to do anything at www.wikiHow.com.

Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia containing more than 32 million articles in 280 languages, and is the most comprehensive and widely used reference work humans have ever compiled.

Your Money
DAI and Microfinance Opportunities have teamed up to launch an on-demand resource called Your Money, which provides local financial education lessons. Your Money is a beginner's guide to saving and managing money. It helps individuals and households avoid common financial pitfalls by gaining basic knowledge of budgeting, savings, and credit that can empower them to make better decisions and create a ripple effect that improves nutrition, health, education, and other fundamental human needs. Starting with a lesson on savings, new modules will be added regularly that reflect the unique needs of users in the Philippines./PR

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