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CURE’s U Mobile Ad-Supported Service Not Entirely Free




Last Monday, CURE’s new U Mobile service was officially launched. About 350 units of phones were given away to pre-approved U Mobile subscribers. Part of the monthly credits will be free and supported by ads. Anything beyond the Php100, you have to pay for yourself.

u-mobileThe free part will last for only 6 months. According to CURE, all approved applicants from June 1, 2008 to August 31, 2008 will receive P100 pre-paid load from ü mobile per month for the 1st 6 months. After that, you’ve just basically switched to a new number. I think Php600 is cheap enough for a telco to make a subscriber switch.

However, the free Php600 prepaid load for 6 months might increase — IF an advertiser is allowed to send your mobile phone any targeted advertisement. Targeted means they know your shopping habits, address, age, gender, etc. — the very long online survey form they make potential subscribers fill up makes sure of that. That another reason why I think their Php600 is well worth it — data mining. You also need to be 15 to 35 year old in the Philippines to be able to qualify.

U Mobile Philippines is purely a prepaid service and is not related in any way to U Mobile Malaysia, another telco founded in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur with the same name.

This service model first came out in Finland when a former Nokia president founded Blyk in 2006 to be the first ad-supported mobile service in the world. They, on the other hand, only cater to 16-24 year old consumers and have tied up with Orange to provide wholesale voice and data transmissions. U Mobile Philippines will be riding on Smart Communications’ existing network, for obvious reasons.

It is a bold move for CURE and a very interesting business model — you get targeted ads right into your phone but you get to use it for free. The only loop hole I see here is that since the SIM cards are prepaid, anybody can practically pass it around and that’s where the demographics can get skewed. They could end up sending napkin ads to 54 year old gramps.

Then again, it’s not totally copy-proof. Smart, Globe or Sun Cellular can easily run a promo to give away free e-loads in exchange for SMS ads — and you don’t need to change numbers too.

So, when I said the service is not entirely free, I meant you’ve actually given away your personal data and legitimately allowed them to annoy you with ads. There’s no such thing as free lunch. Still, I have to admit, it’s a brilliant idea.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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24 Responses

  1. kenneth punongbayan says:

    hi, can you send me an invites or reffer me to cure for a mobile trial service… i really want to try their service.. pls thank you

  2. umobile_trial says:

    Yuga, may invite code ka ba kasi diba free yun. Pahingi nmn ng invite code. I really want to try this.

  3. umobile_trial says:

    Guys, alam ko na kung paano makakuha ng invite. Tawag kayo sa Customer Hotline ng U Mobile nasa website nila then bigay kayo ng information tapos they will contact you for the invite code and they will deliver the sim card to your address.

  4. jhay says:

    I did not attend Monday’s launch because I had to take care of something else. Anyways, I still have an invite code, does that qualify me to try their services?

  5. cArLo AnGeLo says:

    How could I get an invite code? I wanna try cure/uMobile..

    ^^v

  6. marhgil says:

    same with jhay, i was not able to attend the launch, but I also have an invite code. Kasali pa rin ba kaya kami? :D

  7. Can someone please give me an invite for this….this looks to be much tempting since not more than 10K will get into it this time.

    Please? Thanks..

    New things. More surprises!

  8. yuga says:

    I was told by CURE’s PR firm that all those who got the invite will still get their SIM cards delivered to their home. No set date when this will happen though. Will post update once they confirm.

  9. Paul says:

    Could you send me an invite to?

    http://www.wahb.biz

  10. manu says:

    sali ko dyan…

  11. karla says:

    @jhay, may invite code ka pa rin naman di ba?
    try it at their website :)
    i think you can still use that :)

  12. Ed says:

    i hope i can get invites too. I just wanna try it.

  13. ralph says:

    sir abe penge po invite

  14. w3n6 says:

    this really is interesting. i wanted to try the service too. i hope i will also be invited.

  15. lope says:

    it’s quite interesting.

  16. Ventflootly says:

    Hey! I love your website ;-)
    If u r looking for Paid Surveys this is the site 4 you.
    Start advancing your paychecks on http://tinyurl.com/9pul65

  17. Biachim says:

    Well thanks for the info friend, you can also checkout my new site for ultimate free flash online games.

  18. Ryan D.Murro says:

    pa sali naman po invite nyo naman ako ..para ma try korin yan thanks god bless

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