Smart Philippines to Launch Netphone at MWC

The largest wireless service provider in Philippines, SMART is about to launch an innovative product called Netphone, at the Barcelona MWC. This product has its heart at the social networks. Its will use IP based communication for most of the transactions. Netphone™ is not a standalone application, but instead it’s a fully customized and face lifted firmware installed on a re-branded handset. It’s built on top of Android 2.2 and SMART plans to launch it initially on ZTE Blade. ZTE Blade is also known as the ‘Orange San Francisco’ in UK.

Press Release

Makati, Philippines and WALTHAM, Massachusetts, USA — February 8, 2011 — Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART), the Philippines’ leading wireless services provider with 44.1 million subscribers, and Red Bend Software, the market leader in mobile software management (MSM), today unveiled the Netphone™ — the world’s first smartphone featuring widgets from the Wholesale Application Community (WAC) that are independently managed over the air. With Mobile Software Management from Red Bend, SMART will realise faster time to revenue by deploying and managing new, innovative services that will make the Netphone the center of SMART consumers’ social lives.

The Netphone comes with a suite of applications that provide users one-touch, one-screen access to the most popular communications and social networking services, as well as relevant customer account services. Powered by the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system, the device is highly customisable by the user. Moreover, the Netphone comes with its own branded software and applications relevant to emerging market customers.

SMART and Red Bend will showcase a “Day in the Life of a Netphone Subscriber” at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Hall 4, Level 3, Suite 50 (4.3HS50).

“We chose Red Bend as a strategic partner in our Netphone strategy because of their innovative solution, trusted expertise and unparalleled support in helping to bring our vision to reality,” said Napoleon L. Nazareno, President and CEO of Smart Communications, Inc., who serves on the WAC Board of Directors. “With software at the heart of the Netphone experience, it is vital that we have full control over the entire device, ensuring we can rapidly deploy new widgets, applications and services over the air to continually enhance the Netphone’s value and control the software assets that drive our services revenue.”

Using Red Bend’s standards-based vRapid Mobile™ Software Management solution, SMART becomes the first operator to:

  • Manage its suite of SMART-branded embedded software and applications, including WAC-compliant widgets, individually and independently from the OEM’s firmware, using the OMA-DM SCOMO standard
  • Push new revenue-generating mobile services that use WAC widgets to Netphone subscribers over the air, versus waiting for consumers to discover new apps on the WAC-based SMART Shop or Android Market
  • Offer the same software-managed user experience across different device price points and mobile platforms including Android and Brew MP

“It is a tremendous opportunity for Red Bend to utilise the full capabilities of our Mobile Software Management solution in a strategic project such as the Netphone,” said Yoram Salinger, CEO of Red Bend Software. “It demonstrates the value that Red Bend brings to service providers such as SMART, where we can serve as a solutions provider and make MSM a strategic business enabler for their entire ecosystem.”