In its efforts to further democratize access to the Internet, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), the leading wireless services provider in the Philippines, has joined the Carrier Advisory Group (CAG) of Ubuntu, a global forum set up to give operators the opportunity to influence the development of smartphones powered by the world’s most widely used free and open source operating system (OS).
To date, Smart is the only Philippine operator that has joined the advisory group in support of Ubuntu-powered smartphones which can further push a wider range of more affordable phones and applications to the market.
Other leading operators that have joined CAG include Vodafone, Three, China Unicom, EE, Deutsche Telekom, Korea Telecom, Verizon and Telstra, among a few others. The members are given an early foot in the door for access to information on Ubuntu’s smartphone roadmap, prototype trials and market rollout.
Orlando B.Vea, chief wireless advisor at Smart, said: “Ubuntu’s entry to the mobile phone market is definitely exciting. We see this as an interesting opportunity to help bring mobile innovations quicker to the market, lower access barriers and provide more choices in terms of apps and devices. We’re very keen to work with Ubuntu and the developer community in making this happen as it supports our goal to bring the mobile Internet to every Filipino.”
Smart has 56.6 million subscribers on its GSM network as of end-September 2013. The company has built a reputation for global innovations and partnerships, having introduced world-first wireless offerings such as Smart Money, Smart Load, Smart Padala, and the Netphone. It has the most extensive and modern digital communications GSM network and infrastructure in the country and already offers LTE services for high speed content delivery.