Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Prepaid Everything

When Smart Communications first launched SmartLoad in 2001[1], it changed the demographic of cellphone users in the Philippines. It made cellphone usage affordable. Before, prepaid cards for cellphone load sold at Php300 at the minimum. With e-load, cellphone users can buy as low as Php30, now even as low as Php5.

Manny Pangilinan, being chairman of both Smart Communications and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the prepaid e-load concept was extended to landline phone, the service provided by PLDT.

It is not unknown that Pangilinan is now also the chair of Maynilad Water Services and hold shares in MERALCO. Prepaid water and electric services in the Philippines are not farfetched. In the near future, consumers can pay for their water and electricity with cellphone load, specifically SmartLoad.

I am excited for this possibility. Not only will water and electric services be affordable, consumers will now conserve water and electricity more in the same way that prepaid cellphone users tend to be stingier when it comes to letting other people use their cellphones as against postpaid users.

Also, it makes the future a little bit brighter. At least, I’m not that scared that my future salary will not be enough for my basic necessities. Even now that I am still a student and only receive allowance from my parents, I can now pay for my TV usage and watch a movie in HD, thanks to prepaid digital TV. With prepaid, the possibilities are endless.

Kate Lomoljo
Entry No. 5


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