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Why Red Mobile is the new umobile?




When rumors were going around that umobile is rebranding and will now be named Red Mobile, I asked around from sources and confirmed the closure of what have the first ad-supported mobile service in Asia.

red mobileOn April 28, 2008, PLDT disclosed to the SEC that it has bought CURE from Bobby Ongpin for a total amount of Php419.54 million and along with it, the allocation of 10 Mhz in the 2100 Mhz band.

Smart also disclosed it will be investing an additional Php210 Million which it says will operate independently, resulting to the new service called umobile. In essence, Smart got the 3G license and additional bandwidth while umobile will ride on Smart’s network.

According to a source close to someone inside umobile:

  • umobile will cease to exist. Operations of umobile have been merged with Smart and several people were let go due to the resulting redundancies.
  • Red Mobile will now be the new brand of the mobile service, much like how Addict Mobile was positioned by Smart for the niche crowd.
  • The ad-supported model is still in question. It might continue; it might not. But based on the re-branding, my guess is that it won’t go as originally planned. Otherwise, they would have just stuck to the brand and just consolidated operations.

What might have happened? It could be one of many things.

  • My source said, Smart was only interested in the 3G license. Maybe that’s why we’ve seen Smart 3G (Smart Bro) go up to 2Mbps recently.
  • umobile didn’t get much traction and might have missed their milestone of 10,000 subscribers by year-end.
  • There were also problems with interconnectivity with other telcos like Globe and Sun Cellular.
  • Companies didn’t bite the ad-supported model. This one is a bit curious since they set-up was really targeted. It’s also possible that a userbase of under 10,000 is too little to run an SMS-based campaign.

Will update this once I get additional info. I never even used my umobile credits. Still, for some, it was good while it lasted.

Disclosure: Smart is an advertiser on this blog.



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

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62 Responses

  1. marhgil says:

    Umobile called me already and told me they are going to deliver a new Red Mobile SIM this week. Did you receive the same call?

  2. janbass says:

    I got the same call too. They said that umobile will cease operations beginning November 16 and that Red Mobile will replace it.

  3. pink says:

    di pa ako tinatawagan nauna pa tawagan mga invites ko :(

  4. Men says:

    ive seen their adds on tv.. but only a teaser

  5. Gordon says:

    sana maganda naman ung RED MOBILE…

    please drop by: http://tambayancentral.com/

  6. Jan Alvin says:

    Yan pala yung napanood ko sa commercial.

  7. JohnLloy says:

    yeah me too I received a call saying they will deliver my new sim. and yes I’ve seen the commercial too.

  8. LARGE says:

    SUS, BKA PAREHO LANG NG SUN YAN, MAHIRAP TUMAWAG?! MAGSASAYANG LANG TAU LOAD NYAN!

  9. ebaiman8 says:

    CURE mentioned missing their milestone of 10,000 subscribers by year-end. How will they NOT miss it when they are purely INVITE-ONLY?! Also, add the fact that they disabled the sending of invites to others by some time meaning NO OTHER PEOPLE CAN SUBSCRIBE/JOIN THE UMOBILE SERVICE.

    Being a umobile subscriber for months since its inception, I never really received any SMS-Advertisement. Very problematic rin ang pagload sa kanila.

    The good thing with umobile is that since they have little subscribers, I noticed that 3G/GPRS browsing using umobile is FAST (Smart and umobile uses DIFFERENT APNs for 3G/GPRS). Not only is it fast, it is also CHEAPER as well since they only charge PhP 0.33/min. This is great for those who only browse the Net to check on emails and quickly disconnect from it. (Smart charges PhP 10.00/30mins while Globe PhP 5.00/15mins if I’m not mistaken).

    Well, the change of umobile to Red Mobile has some ups and downs as well. The good news is that according to the Customer Service Repsetentative I’ve talked to, the intra calls and text (Red Mobile-Red Mobile) is CHEAP @ PhP 0.50/text and PhP 0.50/min. The bad news is for those who’ll be using it for 3G/GPRS browsing. From PhP 0.33/min, they changed the rate into PhP 7.50/15mins (Making Smart and Globe’s rate cheaper). With this rate, I’d rather surf using Globe or Smart than Red Mobile.

    Will this Red Mobile thingy work? I personally don’t think so. I mean look at Addict Mobile. If I remember it correctly, Addict Mobile is mainly for MMS users (with an MMS rate of PhP 3.00/MMS) and basing from the commercials, caters for the Class A and B crowd. So where is Addict Mobile now? Afterall, Smart already changed their MMS rates @ PhP 1.00/MMS Smart/Talk&Text-Smart/Talk&Text and PhP 2.00/MMS Smart/Talk&Text-Globe. Nawala rin at nabaon sa limot!

    Also, look at the current telecom commercials. Back then they marketed Talk&Text for the ‘masa’ while Smart for the ‘more elite’ crowd. This is the same with Touch Mobile for the ‘masa’ and Globe for the ‘elite’. Nowadays, theres little or no distinction at all (look at Smart’s “Me na Me” slogan).

    Well, at least meron pa free load, I hope…

  10. daisy myers says:

    does anybody know redmobile’s website?

    by the way, i got unlimited calling (even international calls) with umobile. hopefully, it would be the same with red mobile :)

  11. Kevin says:

    They’re rebranding because their business model didn’t work.

    I’m happy to pay PHP 1.5k – 2k for unlimited 3G and WiFi. Why can’t Smart and Globe understand that? They also know that people would use line-based broadband because it’s faster than any wireless connection most of the time.

    It’s like PLDT asking people to pay a few hundred pesos to offer unlimited Airborne Access on top of their home DSL subscription. They know people use the internet at home and rarely at places where AA is present. That’s the point they subscribed to home DSL in the first place.

    Imagine browsing on the iPhone via Red Mobile 3G. Then they bombard you with SMS ads that pop up once in a while you are surfing. You get twice the ads 1)from the websites that you are surfing on and 2) from the SMS ads!

  12. pink says:

    @ daisy myers

    i called umobile hotline kanina wala pa daw website :)

  13. cheftonio says:

    Sayang naman. Ganda pa naman ng number ko. Never ko pa nga nagamit, wala na.. magamit na nga bago tuluyang mawala :D

  14. Aldrich says:

    They have to rebrand the umobile service to Red Mobile since here is a network operator in Malaysia that is also branded as umobile. They did this to avoid some intellectual property rights issues.

    They also need to issue new sim cards to existing umobile subscribers because umobile used to have their own network which is designated as 515-18 and when their own network is not available, they use the facilities of SMART, this is called national roaming. Hence, you will see the roaming icon on your screen if you are outside the local network of umobile. I think this is what caused the interconnectivity problems with other network operators such as Globe and Sun. I tried using my umobile sim to call Bayantel, PLDT Smart/Talk N’ Text and even Extelcom and they worked perfectly well.

    additionally, they need to streamline their operations. what is the use for mother company PLDT operating 2 different networks when CURE/umobile/Red Mobile can ride on the SMART network much like how Piltel is using SMART for their Talk N’ Text service. so naturally, they shut down their own existing 30 cell sites and merged them with SMART’s. A similar senario occured before when Globe and the then Islacom (INNOVE) merged. Islacom’s own network 515-01 was shut down and was integrated with Globe’s network 515-02

  15. andrew says:

    well as far as i know some one told me that red mobile is different, is that true that there is a 100 load per month, pls tell me the truth, well if the red obile sim will be available in the market i really get one then of course i need to activate it, i will call na lang the hotline once i have it, how about you?? do you want to have red mobile sim, im very exciting to have one, maybe all the promo or some services will be available soon, i can’t wait for the sim where can i buy kaya ng sim, kapag nlman ko lagay ko agad dito ge

  16. andrew says:

    ayun na nga sana makakita ako ng sim n yan, kaya lang kailan kaya mging availale di ko din alam ang hotline para makapagtanong, sguro next week n lng ako maghahanap baka meron na, hay………

  17. nan says:

    what ba ung rd mobile? ang gulo ng teaser b tawag dun/?di ko magets eh

  18. chauser says:

    Im a umobile user. As I heard red mobile will be release on November 22 for only P39.00. My red mobile will be delivered on nov. 20. Im lad to have one again. For any info visit our site for tips and trix. nuckerz.ws3x.com

  19. sephiroth111 says:

    Sana marecve ko na ung reD m0bile ko. Nung n0v14 pa ako natawagan ng csR. Sbi antay daw ako ng n0v16 to n0v20 kaso wala naman dumating. I’m waiting 2GO.

  20. hal says:

    i heard the rates IS NOT UNLIMITED! its only 50cents/text/call

  21. Jocelyn says:

    pano na me?hndi ko kc na insert ang umobile sim ko hbng ngkakagulo p cla..hehehe..waahhh..panu n yn di me ininform ng csr kng kelan delivry ng red mobile…:-(

  22. ahra says:

    wla ku alm.. curious lng aq.. =)

  23. izy says:

    kung 50cnts/min at per txt..
    sa sun nlng aq
    unlimited pa..
    sana mag offr din cla ng unlimited..
    para mas click…

  24. izy says:

    kung 50cnts/min at per txt..
    sa sun nlng aq
    unlimited pa..
    sana mag offr din cla ng unlimited..
    para mas click dba…

  25. sun user says:

    mag sun n lang kau guys. it’s better pag unlimited ka. kaya sun ka pa, sun tawag lang yan! hahahahahahaha

  26. red says:

    ntawagan n aq at idedeliver dw ung sim within this week., pero wla p rin dumadating., meron dw ksamang 200 pesos call card un., in ang sbi

  27. Mika says:

    What are the Prefix nos. (09** ) of Red Mobile? La lang just want to know.

  28. leslie says:

    how can i get an invite??

  29. leslie says:

    i wan to have red mobile sim too.. how can i get one??

  30. another sun user says:

    just viewed the red mobile website.. nothing beats the value sun subscribers get!

    i pay 150/month for sun cellular’s text unlimited service. i get 30 days unlimited texts and 240 minutes of calls…

    with red mobile all i get is 300 texts or if i split it, i’ll get 150 texts and 150 minutes. problema wala naman akong ka-text o ka-call sa red mobile… plus i need to get a 3G phone pa, eh marami sa kakilala ko wala pang 3G phone..

  31. jolo says:

    O no. it cannot be used on 2G phones

  32. cabanagj says:

    Mukhang eto rin ang dating Addict Mobile?

    I prefer SUN pa rin. Iba pa rin talaga ang service ng SUN. SULIT KASI!

  33. Dewey says:

    Ngek .50cents/minute, ganun pa rin eh may bayad bawat tawag. Sa SUNCEL na lang tayo talagang unlimited ang offer no Cheating and Tricks. I loaded only 150pesos for a month with unlimited texts and with free 4 hours of talk time di ba sulit and halos mga kaibigan ko may Sun sim na kaya mas sulit talaga sa Sun.Sa Red Mobile kung konti networks mo wala rin. Kung 0.50cents/minute and call rate nila sa lahat ng Networks lipat tayo sa RedMobile.

  34. jigs says:

    hello, umobile informed me about their new sim (REDMBILE) will be delivered at my given address but its been a week na wala pa rin. to you guys, dumating na ba ang Red mobile nyo? :P

  35. pink says:

    jigs, wala pa ding dumadating nagtanong tanong na rin ako sa mga friends ko kung may nareceived na sila kaya lang wala pa rin daw… kala ko mauuna tayong gumamit nun sa market. eh available na sya sa market wala pa sa atin ang sim :(

  36. Rj says:

    yes, i got the same call, too, about 2 weeks ago., they call me in my Smart number since i don’t use my umobile.. until now No sim had been delivered.. well, it’s not that i’m so into new sims, coz i’ll always have my eternal Smart number, a globe and a sun., its just that umobile got some of our personal info, and it just feels weird, or am i being paranoid..

  37. erick u says:

    san ako pwede mag inquire about red mobile, panu ba ito gamitin?

  38. euan says:

    hay, sana continued pa rin un dati nilang service. like un rates. sobrang tipid pa naman dun..

    visit my site:
    http://silentfrequencies.blogspot.com/

  39. euan says:

    hay, sana continued pa rin un dati nilang service. like un rates. sobrang tipid pa naman dun..

    smartload retailer ako and they already updated my smartload menu with red mobile at the bottom of smartload menu.. i just don’t know if my smart load wallet can be used to reload red mobile or i need to load for it in different account.

    visit my site:
    http://silentfrequencies.blogspot.com/

  40. Aldrich says:

    I got the call from umobile last November 14. They committed that my Red Mobile sim which is preloaded with 200 pesos would arrive in between November 17-22, unfortunately, it did not arrive…

  41. rhiggs says:

    hmmmm.. talagang matinding marketing strategy ang ginagawa ng smart ngayon ah.. hehe.. pero siguradong tatapatan din yan ng suncellular at globe.. hintayin nalang natin ang kanya kanyang gimik ng smart, globe at suncellular… parang gasolina lang yan.. pababa ng pababa ang presyo.. ;)

  42. jason says:

    redmobile sucks, i miss umobile, umobile = elite, redmobile = jologs.

  43. heidee says:

    how the red mobile gonna call me? :(

  44. Mark says:

    Baka nga Parang sun ren yan. The Best paren ang GLOBE. para saakin.

  45. Soon-to-be-SUn-subscriber says:

    read about this red mobile thing…ganun pa din..you still heve to pay for the calls na gagawin mo…if sun cell can have unlimited calls bakit nila magawa….nothing will beat the SUN! I will soon be applying for a sun postpaid, because almost of my relatives, friends, ofcmates are already sun subscriber…unlimited is the best!! Sana magaya yan ng smart, globe…

  46. azile says:

    I received a call from umobile last month and ngayon ko lang natangap ung red mobile sim ko.

    miss ko na ang umobile.

    0938 ba prefix no. ng red mobile?
    mas cute ung umobile ksi 0999..hmm..

  47. i’m a load-and-forget type of person
    that’s why i use SUN Cellular

    kahit na anong marketing strategy gawin nila against Sun there are still catches towards how they network runs

    people doesn’t need to convert all of their phones into 3Gs?!! sheez..
    e panu kung naka 5110 pa ako…what’s the use hehe

    napaka-outdated how red mobile dish out Sun

    di na ganun kalala ang Sun ngayon, ok na ang signal nila, at least Sun took risk on the sales though they provide good service dahil dumami ang nagsubscribe

  48. kat says:

    I didn’t get a call from umobile that they’ll be changed to Red Mobile. I was the one who called them and asked for the delivery of my sim, which hopefully would arrive this week.

    I guess I would not have known about Red Mobile if my best friend did not asked me his umobile number and told me the information that umobile was already gone.

    Anyway, thanks for this post, I now have an idea why umobile was gone.

  49. jredho says:

    curious ako but i think i wont, or i might, will not, might too.. hehe

  50. Sun unli call/text is much better.

  51. Drop by the PLDT community page on getsatisfaction.com

    Here you can contribute & find consolidated rants or praise for PLDT services

  52. kenshinflyer says:

    If I’m not mistaken, after their purchase of CURE, SMART has two 3G allocations already. Nice move there, SMART.

  53. jasper says:

    paano ko makkha ang red mobile load menu sa smartload retailer……. kzi may nkita ko ng website na sa lhat ng smart retailers. ay get a red mobile load menu… pro hindi ko na alm kung anu website ang pnuntahan ko… help me plzzzzzzzz just email me at [email protected] thnx sa reply nyo po

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