Smart Communications Inc.
Company typeSubsidiary
PredecessorSun Cellular (2003–2022)
FoundedJanuary 24, 1991; 33 years ago (1991-01-24) (in Manila, Philippines)
Area served
Key people
Manuel V. Pangilinan
Alfredo S. Panlilio
(President, CEO and CRO)[1]
ProductsMobile telephony
ServicesBroadband services
Digital platform services
Smart Communications retail store in a mall.

Smart Communications Inc., commonly referred to as Smart, is a wholly owned wireless communications and digital services subsidiary of PLDT Inc.,[2] a telecommunications and digital services provider based in the Philippines.[3] As of November 2023, it is currently the largest mobile network with 55.2 million subscribers. [4]

Smart offers commercial wireless services through its 2G, 3G, 3.5G HSPA+, 4G LTE, and LTE-A networks, with 5G currently being deployed in multiple locations in the Philippines.[5][6] Smart's terrestrial wireless telephony service is being complemented by its satellite communication services Smart Sat and Marino which also serve the global maritime industry.

The company has introduced wireless offerings such as Smart Money,[7] a mobile electronic wallet that also enables its SMS-based money remittance service Smart Padala (now integrated with Maya). It has also been recognized for introducing the world's first over-the-air electronic prepaid loading service called Smart Load.[8] One of its services,[9] PasaLoad, allows its users to pass phone credits to other Smart prepaid accounts through SMS.


Anticipating the liberalization of the telecommunications industry in the Philippines a group of Filipino investors led by Orlando B. Vea and David T. Fernando organized Smart (then named Smart Information Technology, Inc.) on January 24, 1991. The company obtained its congressional franchise in April 1992 and was granted a provisional authority to operate a mobile cellular service in May 1993.[10] In December 1993, Smart commenced commercial operations of its cellular service. By then, Smart had drawn in partners. These were: First Pacific, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate through its Philippine flagship Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone of Japan (NTT).

In compliance with the government's telecommunications program, Smart established a local exchange service in the cities and provinces assigned to it under the "service area scheme." The company also obtained licenses to provide international gateway, paging and inter-carrier transmission services.[11]

On March 24, 2000, PLDT completed its share-swap acquisition of Smart, making Smart a 100%-owned PLDT subsidiary.

In February 2011,[12] Smart unveiled the Netphone, its own line of Android-compliant smartphones designed for emerging markets at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The Netphone was introduced as the world's first smartphone backed by an operator-managed platform.

On August 25, 2012,[13] Smart launched the Philippines' first 4G mobile broadband commercial service running on LTE technology. On April 13, 2016,[14] Smart introduced the first commercial LTE-A Service in Boracay, Aklan.

On June 13, 2016, Smart and its parent company PLDT unveiled their new logos and identity as part of the company's continuing digital pivot.[15]

In February 2017,[16] Smart and parent company PLDT signed a memorandum of understanding with China-based Huawei Technologies "to shape the strategic and commercial development of the 5G ecosystem in the Philippines".

On April 21, 2017, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 10926 which renewed Smart's license for another 25 years. The law granted Smart a franchise to establish, maintain, lease and operate integrated telecommunications, computers, electronics, and stations throughout the Philippines.[17][18]

In October 2018, petitioners asked the Supreme Court to stop Globe and Smart from using the 700 MHz[19] and Smart announced that they were working to fix its slow internet service.[20] On July 30, 2020, Smart activated their 5G mobile network initially in Makati Central Business District, Bonifacio Global City, Araneta City, SM Megamall and SM Mall of Asia Bay Area.[21]


The company has more than 66 million mobile subscribers as of 2022, under the brands Smart, Sun, and TNT, in addition to wireless broadband subscribers number more than 3.9 million under the brands Smart Bro and Sun Wireless Broadband.[22]

By virtue of SIM Registration Act and due to the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards, Smart has 50.0 million subscribers as of July 26, 2023.[23] Smart now becomes the network with the most subscribers, beating Globe Telecom by 1.6 million subscribers.

At the end of the 5-day grace period, Smart registered 52,500,870 subscribers which came into second to Globe Telecom as of July 30, 2023.[24] Out of its total 66,304761 subscribers or 79.18% of its total subscriber base, Smart loses 13,803,891 SIM cards to deactivation.

As of November 2023, Smart reported that it has 55.2 million subscribers following the implementation of SIM (subscriber identity module) card registration, which is slightly more than 54.7 million of close competitor Globe Telecom Inc., regaining its place as the mobile network with the largest subscriber base. [4]

Radio frequency summary

Frequencies used by Smart Communication
Frequency Protocol Network Band Number Duplex Mode Common Name
1800 MHz 3 DCS
900 MHz 8 E-GSM
2100 MHz 1 IMT
850 MHz 5 CLR
1800 MHz 3 DCS
2100 MHz 1 IMT
2300 MHz 40 TDD S-Band
2500 MHz 41 BRS
3400 MHz 42 CBRS
3500 MHz NR 5G n78 TDD C-Band


Smart and its parent company PLDT launched Omega esports, a professional esports team for Dota 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Tekken 7 that competed in the 2019 The Nationals.[25][26][27] It is also a major sponsor of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang esports events in the Philippines such as the previous MSC 2019.[28]

Sports teams


See also


  1. ^ "Management Committee - Smart Communications". Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Nicholas P. (2007). You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones are Connecting the World's Poor To the Global Economy. Terrence Palangyos. p. 123. ISBN 9780787994631.
  3. ^ "About PLDT - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company". Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Piad, Tyrone Jasper C. (November 8, 2023). "Smart snaps Globe's 7-year subscriber lead". Retrieved November 8, 2023.
  5. ^ Marasigan, Lorenz S. "Smart-PLDT, Huawei partner to research, develop 5G in PHL | BusinessMirror". Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  6. ^ Mercurio, Richmond. "Smart gears up for enhanced 5G coverage". Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "SMART Money | SMART Padala". Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  8. ^ Reyes, Mary Ann Ll. "Smart captures 2 major int'l awards". The Philippine Star. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "Innovations and Awards - Smart Communications". Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  10. ^ Republic Act No. 7294 (March 27, 1992), "An Act Granting Smart Information Technologies, Inc. (Smart) a Franchise to Establish, Maintain, Lease and Operate Integrated Telecommunications/computer/electronic Services, and Stations Throughout the Philippines for Public Domestic and International Telecommunications, and for Other Purposes", Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, retrieved July 27, 2023
  11. ^ "About Smart Communication". June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "The Netphone - Smart Communications". Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  13. ^ "Smart launches the Philippines' first commercial LTE service on August 25". Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  14. ^ "Smart starts deployment of LTE-Advanced mobile service". Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  15. ^ "PLDT, Smart unveil new logo in line with 'digital pivot'". PLDT. June 13, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "PLDT-Smart, Huawei seal 5G partnership". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  17. ^ Republic Act No. 10926 (April 21, 2017), "An Act Extending for Twenty-five (25) Years the Franchise Granted to Smart Communications, Inc. (Formerly Smart Information Technologies, Inc.), Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 7294, Entitled "An Act Granting Smart Information Technologies, Inc. (Smart) a Franchise to Establish, Maintain, Lease and Operate Integrated Telecommunications/computer/electronic Services, and Stations Throughout the Philippines for Public Domestic and International Telecommunications, and for Other Purpose", Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines
  18. ^ "Smart Communications Inc.'s franchise extended for 25 years under R.A. 10926". PLDT. May 5, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  19. ^ "SC asked to stop Globe, Smart's use of 700 MHz frequency". Rappler.
  20. ^ Gonzales, Cathrine. "Smart network announces slow internet services". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  21. ^ "Smart 5G goes live". Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  22. ^ "Financial Highlights Q1 2020" (PDF).
  23. ^ "NTC: No more SIM registration deadline extension". The Philippine Star. July 25, 2023. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  24. ^ Rilloraza, Bryan (August 5, 2023). "SIM registration in the Philippines ends, final tally of subscribers revealed". Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  25. ^ "PLDT, Smart launch pro gaming team 'Omega' for country's first franchise-based esports league". Philippine Daily Inquirer. February 17, 2019.
  26. ^ "Pro gaming team 'Omega' of PLDT, Smart launched". BusinessWorld. February 18, 2019.
  27. ^ "PLDT, Smart launch pro gaming team 'Omega' for country's first franchise-based esports league". The Philippine Star. February 18, 2019.
  28. ^ Roslan, Firdaus (May 27, 2019). "MSC 2019 Will Take Place in the Philippines!". eGG. Archived from the original on October 28, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.