How Globe, Smart, and PLDT are responding to COVID-19’s threat

From free speed boost to extended bills payment



Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, the whole island of Luzon has been placed on a lockdown or what the government prefers to call “enhanced community quarantine.” Public utility companies, for their part, have already limited physical transactions. However, they are reassuring the public that they will continue to provide services during these difficult times.

Telecommunications operators like Globe, Smart, and PLDT have released their own advisory to meet the guidelines for enhanced quarantine in the whole island. Here’s how they are responding to the public heath crisis brought by COVID-19 outbreak:

Advisories are subject to change. We will update this article for new developments. Hit refresh from time to time to see these updates.

Bill payment extension

Globe, Smart, and PLDT are extending their payment period again for 30 days soon after the lockdown period was extended until April 30. However, this extension doesn’t mean that the operators will give a free one-month service to its customers. The billing cycle of each operator will continue. So, you will still pay a hefty amount for using their service for the duration of the lockdown.

Free speed and data boost from PLDT and Smart

PLDT customers are entitled to a free speed boost during the lockdown. But that comes with a big “if”. If you’re not a PLDT Fibr customer nor a resident from Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, then you’re out of luck. Still, those within the speed boost criteria gets a decent 25 Mbps boost, irrespective of the Fibr plan that the customers have.

Smart Signature Plan subscribers are also getting a boost on their mobile data for the next 30 days. Every postpaid plan gets an increase in consumable data. To know the new mobile data limits for every plan, head over to Smart’s website.

Free, unlimited WiFi on critical areas

It is important for the medical workers to stay connected with their friends and families during these crucial moments. Battling an outbreak that has the potential to spread to more people is a risky and important task. Smart and Globe recognizes this fact, and they are offering free and unlimited Internet access to select areas via their WiFi stations.

Adjusted store operating hours

PLDT and Smart are also adjusting their store hours to comply with the enhanced quarantine guidelines. Meanwhile, Globe announced that they are closing all of their physical stores from March 16 to 22. Globe customers must resort to their online store or hotline support during these days.

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As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces


Samsung, BTS will launch a custom Galaxy S20

Coming next month



Celebrity endorsements are part and parcel of the smartphone lifecycle. Most companies have constantly leveraged local talent to promote their products. However, a lucky few have found more internationally known celebrities to brandish new devices. Amidst this ubiquitous strategy, Samsung and LG have a distinct advantage: a gallery of Korean idol groups right at their doorstep. For example, Samsung has already created BLACKPINK-themed Galaxy smartphones last year.

Recently, Samsung recruited BTS for this year’s Galaxy S20 series. At the time, the partnership was just for brand ambassadorship, creating promos with the “Captured #withGalaxy S20 Series.” Now, Samsung and BTS are taking it a step further.

In the last few days, Samsung’s Twitter account teased BTS-themed promos with a single date: July 9. The promos are very likely hinting at a BTS-themed device coming next month.

Thanks to Max Weinbach, we finally have a clearer idea of what the upcoming device is. Sent by one of his sources, the upcoming device is a Galaxy S20 variant in vibrant Mirror Purple, marking the BTS theme. Additionally, Samsung is also launching BTS-themed Galaxy Buds+ in the same Mirror Purple color. Both devices will come in custom BTS packaging.

At least for the phone, there isn’t any change internally. It’s still the same Galaxy S20 series. At the very least, the custom variant will arrive in the base Galaxy S20 model.

As the leak confirms, the upcoming device will launch on July 9 in South Korea. Pre-orders will start soon. However, there is no word yet whether the device will come to other countries.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 might now be in mass production

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CES 2021 will still push through with an in-person event

Will implement a lot of safety measures



Image source: CES

So far, CES 2020 is the only massive tech trade show to escape the ongoing coronavirus pandemic unscathed. Soon after the first show of the year, other similar events — like MWC 2020 — started dropping out for fear of spreading the virus further. Some migrated to online avenues. Some are still pushing through but with severely limited attendance.

With more than half a year to go before the next event, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced that CES 2021 will continue its years-long tradition of holding an in-person event for the trade showcase. Besides the in-person event, CES 2021 will also branch out into more digital spaces, allowing more livestreaming to broadcast the latest technologies for a wider reach. Though the announcement is only making the rounds now (via The Verge), the CTA has already made and publicized the decision on May 7 through the convention’s website.

This is, of course, a huge deal for the public events industry all over the world. All eyes are on CES 2021 as a safety barometer for the future of public spaces. Though some events are still continuing as normal this year, CES 2021 will likely usher in a new era with new health tools, the “new normal,” and, hopefully, a cure. Who knows what will happen at that point in time?

CES 2021 will still implement public health measure to limit the spread of disease during the show. The CTA is already pondering on various methods like social distancing, temperature scans, mask wearing, contactless payments, and sanitization stations.

Amidst all the potential safety measures in place, we’re seeing the “new normal” in action. For sure, CES 2021 will showcase huge breakthroughs in the tech industry, as it did this year. The annual event will take place from January 6 to 9 next year.

SEE ALSO: IFA 2020 to adopt an ‘innovative’ form of conferencing

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PLDT Home extends Speedboost and Double Data offers

Until June 30



When people were forced to stay at and work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PLDT stepped in to make sure Internet access was sufficient (debatable, we know). The speedboost they promised for the duration of the lockdown has now been extended.

The nationwide speedboost supposedly gave everyone a minimum of 25 Mbps. If you felt this boost, congratulations! You get to experience it for a little while longer.

If you’d rather go prepaid that options is on offer as well. You can get the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid at just PhP 995 which comes with free 10GB worth of data valid for seven days and enjoy twice more data for all sites and apps.

If that doesn’t quite cut it for you there are other PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid options:

  • FamLoad package: FamLoad 199 now has 24GB of data for seven days
  • FamLoad 599 comes with 80GB of data for 15 days
  • FamLoad 999 has 130GB of data for 30 days
  • FamLoad 1499 gives you a whopping 200GB of data for 30 days.

To find out more, you can always visit the PLDT Website. Just cross your fingers that it never gets hacked like their Twitter account.

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