Uber is introducing an in-car WiFi service in its premium vehicles in the Philippines, a first in Southeast Asia made possible by its new partnership with PLDT.
Under the deal, PLDT’s wireless services provider Smart and its digital innovations platform Voyager Innovations will power the free WiFi service in select Uber Black vehicles and soon in all Uber vehicles in Metro Manila.
The ride-sharing app will also be pre-installed on all smartphones that come with Smart postpaid subscriptions.
Uber drivers, on the other hand, will benefit from the partnership with customized voice and data packages from Smart for their personal or business communications needs.
Mike Brown, Regional Manager, Southeast Asia and Australia, New Zealand, said they share a common vision with PLDT in giving customers and partners the experience of truly connected urban mobility.
Uber drivers Roger Inventor and Gerald John Pamintuan said that even prior to the announcement of the multi-year partnership between the two companies, they have been sharing with passengers their own WiFi connections as part of good customer service.
In a congested metropolis where traffic could stand still for hours, working professionals who chose to ride Uber vehicles need better connectivity to increase productivity while in transit.
Eric Alberto, executive vice president and head of enterprise for PLDT and Smart, said the WiFi service is only the first of many innovations that Uber and PLDT will both create for the market.
This is going to be made possible by the many enabling platforms that PLDT, Smart and Voyager Innovations have that could help Uber accelerate their growth in the Philippines.
In August, Uber entered a similar arrangement in India with Bharti Airtel covering on-board 4G connectivity as well as ride payments via Airtel Money.