Smart expands coverage of ‘HelLow’ IDD service

SMART[July 19, 2011] Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) today announced the expansion of its ‘HelLow’ low-cost international direct dialing (IDD) service, to include four countries with the most number of Filipino contract workers.

HelLow is the country’s first reloadable IDD card which can be used on any Smart or Talk ‘N Text cellphone to make low-cost calls to top OFW destinations, via sachet-sized load denominations.

With HelLow’s expanded coverage, low-cost calls to France, Indonesia, Kuwait, and Spain – where an estimated .25 million Filipinos live or work — is now possible. Calls that cost as low as P2.50 per minute may also be made to other frequently-called countries and territories.

The expansion is geared at “enabling Philippine-based families of OFWs to increase the frequency of their outbound calls,” according to Danilo Mojica, head of Smart’s Wireless Consumer Division.

Available data show that despite the staggering number of OFWs worldwide –- now about 11 million — only a small percentage of mobile subscribers in the Philippines initiate calls, and these calls are normally even kept short. This is due to the perception that IDD is a premium – and therefore expensive — service.

“We would like to encourage Smart subscribers to call their loved-ones abroad, by providing them with reliable and affordable IDD access,” added Mojica.

With HelLow, calls to Canada, mainland US, Guam, and Hawaii cost only P2.50 per minute. Calls to Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, and Hong Kong cost P5.

For calls to Japan, Australia, UK, Italy, and Thailand, HelLow offers P8 per minute, while calls to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Brunei, Macau, Bahrain, India, and now France, Indonesia, Kuwait, and Spain cost only P10 per minute.

HelLow cards (SRP: P30) are available at any Smart Store and other accredited resellers all over the country, and every card comes pre-loaded with P30. Printed on the plastic card are the unique account number and PIN.

To make a call, simply use any Smart or Talk ‘N Text cellphone, dial *4336 + the 11-digit account number, follow the voice prompt, then key in the PIN and the number being called.

To inquire about the load balance of a HelLow account, or to know the per-minute rate for calling a particular country, dial *4337 + the 11-digit account number, follow the voice prompt, then key in the PIN and the service being checked.

The per-minute charge is deducted from the HelLow account, and not from the Smart or Talk ‘N Text SIM in the handset.

The P30 load that comes with the HelLow reloadable IDD card may be used up to the last P2.50, and load comes in denominations of as low as P15, available from any of Smart’s nationwide network of over 1.3 million e-load sellers.

Smart is the Filipinos’ biggest mobile network to the world, serving 46.6 million subscribers as of end- March 2011. Its products and services are available in over 200 countries abroad in partnership with over 400 network operators.

For more information about Smart services specifically designed for overseas Filipinos, visit www.facebook.com/SmartCommunications.