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Globe Gives Away Free SIM Cards to All Foreign Tourists and OFWs

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Globe Telecom, in partnership with Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines, announced today to give away free SIM cards to all foreign tourists and Overseas Contract Workers (OFW) visiting or coming back to the country, respectively. Starting tomorrow, July 30, 2015, Globe will start issuing the free SIM cards to incoming foreign tourists and OFWs through its booths inside the airports of NAIA, Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Iloilo, and Clark. Tourists can present their non-Philippine passports or foreign resident cards, while OFWs can show their Seaman’s book or OFW E-card. This free SIM cards promo will end on December 31, 2015.

So, how many free SIM cards is that going to be? Roughly about 2.23 million!

The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) is the marketing arm of the Philippine’s Department of Tourism (DOT). The board was tasked to promote the Philippines as the top tourist destination in Asia through its “Visit the Philippines Year 2015” tourism campaign, with a goal of garnering 5.5 million foreign tourists arriving in the Philippines. With this goal, it has partnered with Globe Telecom, the first telecommunications company it has done so, through the International Business Group of the telecom giant to offer various services to the millions of tourists visiting the Philippines, and for the OFWs returning home. The two entities conducted the formal contract signing at the Aracama in the Fort Strip of Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City this morning in front of a backdrop that said:

Staying Connected – More Fun in the Philippines.

Buffet lunch at Aracama was served with the main course being three kinds of lechon: Original lechon, Spanish lechon and Truffle lechon. Of course, I tried all three and concluded the Spanish style was the best tasting one. Kudos to Chef Fernando Aracama for this kind of gastronomic treat!

After lunch, Tracy Abad opened the event by describing who the two entities were and a description of the partnership that was about to happen. However, I was still curious if what they were going to announce was a smartphone app, a website or something else. Tracy Abad is currently the morning show host for Mellow 94.7, a Philippine FM radio station. She was the TV show host with the now-discontinued QTV of GMA Network.

Opening remarks were delivered by the representing officers of both entities. First on the stage was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TPB Domingo Ramon Enerio III who gave a synapse of inbound tourism in the country.

Summarizing what he said, there were a total of 2.23 million tourists who arrived in the Philippines between January and May this year, an 8.15% leap compared to last year of the same period. The average stay of a tourist in the country is 10 nights and the average tourist spends more than $100 a day. That’s a whooping 93.9 billion Pesos in tourism earnings for the first five months of 2015.

I did some Google-ing (is there such a word?) and found out that between 1991 and 2015, the highest recorded foreign arrivals in the country was December last year at 487,654 tourists while the lowest recorded foreign arrivals was February of 1991 at 63,628. Also during the event, Enerio enumerated the top 10 countries for incoming foreign tourists come from, mainly:

  1. Korea
  2. USA
  3. Japan
  4. China
  5. Australia
  6. Singapore
  7. Canada
  8. Taiwan
  9. UK
  10. Malaysia

But another Google-ing led me to tourism.gov.ph and the top spending markets based on visitor earnings were not the same. The top three countries in the government website was the same but the 4th highest was listed as Australia, not China which was in 5th place. Then, it was more different for the 6th to 9th place, namely: (6) Canada, (7) UK, (8) Singapore, and (9) Spain. Taiwan was missing from the website’s top 10 list. Okay, maybe I’m reading the stats on the website differently.

After Enerio, the Senior Vice President for International Business of Globe Telecom Rizza Maniego-Eala entered the stage and spoke of the need to help the promotions board hit their 5.5 million tourist target, and Globe’s role to do so. This is when she announced their intent to give away free SIM cards to every incoming foreign tourist and OFW – the first campaign in a series of more campaigns to come.

Called the Globe Traveler SIM, it is a local prepaid SIM card that offers the same services as every prepaid customer of Globe enjoys – local rates for calls, text messaging, and mobile internet services, giving foreign tourists and OFWs a more cost-efficient way to communicate and connect rather than using an international number which charges expensive roaming rates for calling, text messaging and internet browsing while in the Philippines. For example, they can use the Globe Traveler SIM and call the U.S. for as low as $0.40 per minute. That’s low compared to high roaming charges – for example, AT&T would bill an American $2.50 per minute to call from the Philippines to anywhere in the world, including home country USA.

Eala adds, “We are happy to be the first telco partner of the Tourism Promotions Board in their thrust to make the Philippines the ultimate destination hub for tourists worldwide. Offering free SIMs is our way of helping travelers further enjoy their stay by enabling easy, affordable and hassle-free communications.”

A question-and-answer portion followed for people in media and guests to ask for more information about the partnership. Then, a table was set where both Enerio and Eala sat down to formally sign the partnership contracts while everyone witnessed, video-taped and snapped photos of the moment.

For more information on the FREE Globe Traveler SIM, please visit the Globe Traveler SIM website. For jetsetters, backpackers, and thrill-seekers, Visit the Philippines Year 2015 provides a year-round calendar guide for all adventures, whether it be food trips, walking tours, or festivals. For information on activities and events, please log on to www.visitph2015.com.

Sources and references of text: Globe Press Release | tourism.gov.ph | AT&T

Photos and images: Globe Press Release | tourism.gov.ph | @raffypekson #capturebyKata

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

July 29, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Government & Politics, ICT, Travel & Tourism

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Did You Know That Globe Has a Flat Rate for Unlimited Data Roaming Service for Prepaid Customers

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Globe Telecom has been offering its flat rate for unlimited data roaming service of P599 per day to its prepaid customers, providing over 97% of its total mobile customer base uninterrupted access to the internet in over 50 countries worldwide—over 4 times bigger than the footprint of competition.

With Globe Prepaid Roam Surf, prepaid customers can access the internet abroad for an entire 24-hour cycle, making their data connectivity experience more seamless and worry-free.

Prepaid customers traveling to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Nauru, Netherlands, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAW, Uganda, United Kingdom, and USA can avail of Globe Prepaid Roam Surf.

Roam Surf for Globe Prepaid offers customers the ability to choose from three variants,

  • P599 for 24 hours
  • P1797 for 3 full days
  • P2995 for 5 full days

Customers can dial *143# and access the International and Roaming menu to register to the service without having to memorize registration keywords.

In 2014, Globe launched the flat rate for unlimited data roaming service of P599 per day to its postpaid customers, paving the way for a boost in its data roaming business with its customer base growing by two-fold as a result of strong take-up of the service and the increasing appetite for data connectivity while abroad.

Source of text from globe.com.ph.

Photo from globe.com.ph.

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Globe Telecom Upgrades Southeast Asia-Japan Cable System

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Landing site of SJC submarine cable system in Nasugbu, Batangas. From Globe Telecom photo archives.

The Southeast Asia-Japan undersea cable system is operated by an international consortium of leading telecommunications and technology companies which includes Globe Telecom. Recently, it began implementing a network upgrade to further enhance capacity amid steady growth in bandwidth demand in the region.

The upgrade to the cable system brings an increase of 6.5 terabits per second of capacity utilizing the latest 100 gigabits per second transmission equipment. The sharp increase in transmission technology from the usual 10 gigabits per second, followed by 40 gigabits per second technology, underscores the upsurge in internet usage especially mobile internet. Once completed, the upgrade will set a new benchmark in global data and information connectivity.

Globe Telecom’s COO Gil Gneio said, “The upgrade runs parallel with Globe Telecom’s network transformation initiative. As we optimize our modernized network to further build capacity, the SJC upgrade allows better network availability and delivery, providing additional support for expanding business requirements for data.”

TE SubCom, an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology, was commissioned by the SJC consortium to carry out the network upgrade. Full system construction of the SJC cable system was completed in June of last year at a project cost of $400 million.  Globe Telecom’s interconnection with the SJC cable system, which strengthened the country’s connectivity with the region and the rest of the world, was formally launched in inauguration rites led by President Benigno Aquino and Globe Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala in September last year.

The undersea cable project consists of 6 fiber pairs with an initial design capacity of up to 28 terabits per second, one of the fastest speeds an undersea cabling system can provide, to meet bandwidth-intensive applications such as internet TV, online games and enterprise data exchange.  To illustrate, the cable’s design capacity can support simultaneous streaming of up to 3 million high-definition videos.

The SJC is an 8,900-kilometer cable system, which could further extend to 9,700 kilometers. The cable system links 7 territories that include Brunei, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines, including the option to link with Thailand.

Aside from Globe, the SJC consortium is composed of Brunei International Gateway Sendirian Berhad (BIG), China Mobile International Ltd. (CMI), China Telecommunications Corporation (China Telecom), China Telecom Global Limited (CTG), Donghwa Telecom Co. Ltd (DHT) (a subsidiary of Chunghwa Telecom, Co., Ltd.), Google, KDDI Corporation, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin a subsidiary of PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Tbk), and TOT Public Co., Ltd. (TOT).

Full text above was provided by Yoly C. Crisanto, Head, Corporate Communications of Globe Telecom, Inc., through Cat Triviño, Globe Telecom Digital PR. This is not a paid article.

Photo from globe.com.ph archives.

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28 Percent of US Immigrants Come from Asia

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In operation until 1954, the immigration station processed over 12 million immigrant steamship passengers.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) reports that 28 percent of all immigrants in the United States – about 11 million – hail from Asia. Asians are the second largest immigrant group after Latinos, with nearly half coming from the Philippines, India and China and residing in California, New York and Texas.

Asian immigrants are perceived as “model minorities” who work hard, do well, and don’t complain. In the American imagination, they do not seem to share the challenges faced by other immigrant groups.

Nearly half of Asian immigrant adults have a college degree or higher. Among all immigrants, Asians are more concentrated in management, information technology, and science and engineering. A majority of immigrant doctors and nurses are from Asia.

MPI estimates that Asian immigrants accounted for 11 percent of all unauthorized immigrants in 2010. The Department of Homeland Security counts among the undocumented 280,000 Filipinos, 200,000 Indians, 170,000 Koreans and 130,000 Chinese.

Read more at WNYX New York Public Radio

Photo by wallyg at Flickr.com

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Philippine Export Agency Expects 10 Percent Export Growth

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The Export Development Council (of the Philippines) was created by virtue of Republic Act 7844, otherwise known as the Export Development Act of 1994. It was created with the purpose of developing and overseeing the implementation of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) and coordinating the formulation and implementation of policy reforms to support the Plan.

Based on a plan recently presented to Philippine President Aquino, the EDC expects annual export growth to be within 10% in merchandise shipments until 2013. This target relies on exporting more to neighboring countries like China whose economy continues to expand, and Japan which many expect to recover fast despite the Tsunami catastrophe. The plan was approved by the President.

Sources: Export Hub & EDC Website

Photo by edison.sy at Flickr.com

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$1B Investment Plan in the Philippines Bared by Coca-Cola

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Photo by Svadilfari at Flickr.com

Coca-Cola disclosed its plan to spend $1 Billion over the next five years to expand its presence and operations in the Philippines as part of its global plan to focus more on emerging markets. A recent upgrade in global standing of the Philippines by Goldman Sachs to include the country in its “Next Eleven” list may have been one of the reasons why Coca-Cola is investing this much. With a population of 91 million and a stable manufacturing and service-based economy, the Philippines offers several good investment options for the likes of Coca-Cola.

$2 Billion investment is also alloted for China while it is also buying its largest bottler in North America for more than $12 Billion.

Source: Bullfax.com

Written by Raffy Pekson II

September 28, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Jollibee gives up operations in Taiwan and Shanghai

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Philippine fast food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) has given up its operations in China’s Taiwan and Shanghai and chosen to focus on “building bigger brands” in other parts of China.

JFC gave up its 70 percent stake in Lao Dong Pte. Ltd. which operates Lao Dong restaurants in Taiwan. It also terminated its franchising agreement with Chun Shui Tang Tea House and shut down its stores in Shanghai.

Read more at Individual

Written by Raffy Pekson II

December 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm