Smart Communications has launched a new card that allows its subscribers to make calls to their relatives in the United States for only P2.50 per minute. Hellow is described as the first reloadable international direct dialing (IDD) card which can be used on any Smart or Talk 'N Text mobile phone to make calls to 17 destinations.
While the calls to US, Canada, 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. Calls to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates cost P10 per minute. "Hellow rates vary depending on the rates of our partners. Calls to the Middle East remain very expensive," Kathryn Carag, head of Smart's international services, said.
Ms. Carag said they expect about half a million Filipinos to start using Hellow reloadable IDD card in its first year. It is estimated that around 8.73 million Filipinos live and work abroad, remitting about $16 billion this year.
"Through this new reloadable IDD card, families of overseas Filipinos many now stretch their budget to accommodate the equally important expense of keeping in touch with their loved ones abroad," said Danilo Mojica, head of Smart's wireless consumer division.
Mr. Mojica said that unlike other IDD services, anyone may avail of the Hellow reloadable IDD card. "One just needs to buy the Hellow card, preloaded with P30, from any Smart wireless center and other accredited resellers all over the country," he added.
Ms. Carag said there are about 1.3 million Smart load retailers all over the country that also offer load for Hellow for as little as P15.
Printed on the plastic card are the unique account number and PIN. To start making a call using the Hellow card, subscribers need to dial *4334.
Smart has tapped celebrity endorsers Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino to promote its new product.
Based on Press Release of Smart Communications