Smart’s new eSIM push lets Philippines prepaid users keep number

Smart’s new eSIM push lets Philippines prepaid users keep number

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications on Thursday launched a new push to drive adoption of eSIM among prepaid subscribers by allowing them to keep their existing number when they make the switch.

Under the latest promotion, Smart Prepaid subscribers can upgrade their physical SIM to an eSIM for a fee of Php99 (around US$1.75) and keep the same number.

Smart is also hoping to entice non-Smart prepaid users to switch to its service, saying that they can switch their physical SIM to a Smart Prepaid eSIM at no charge.

In both cases, subscribers must have an eSIM-compatible smartphone, and they have to go a Smart stores to make the switch.

According to Smart’s head of Prepaid, Lloyd R. Manaloto, Smart prepaid customers need to bring their current physical SIM and a valid government ID. Non-Smart have to obtain their Unique Subscriber Code from their current network provider, and submit required documents such as a valid government ID, a screenshot of their current balance, and a signed application form, among others.

Smart launched its prepaid eSIM service in July 2023, but up to now, subscribers couldn’t keep their old number. Jerome Y. Almirante, head of Innovations and Digital Services at Smart, said this is the first eSIM service in the Philippines that lets prepaid customers keep their old number.

“By being able to upgrade their physical SIM to an eSIM while keeping their number, mobile users avoid the usual hassles that come with having a new number – from tediously informing your contacts to painstakingly updating apps and online accounts linked to your number,” Almirante said. “With this new capability in place, we’re making it a lot easier and more convenient for subscribers of all networks to finally enjoy the many benefits of eSIM technology.”

Smart’s rival Globe Telecom began offering a prepaid eSIM for local users last month via its GlobeOne App after a six-month delay. However, for the time being, only iOS users can access the eSIM option in the app, according to Unbox.ph, and users must change numbers.

Globe has been offering prepaid eSIMs to tourists and business travellers visiting the Philippines since the end of last year. That eSIM is available for iOS and Android phones.

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