In Smart to offer services in Singapore, Smart and PLDT Global are working on agreements with a Singapore carrier to operate a Mobile Virtual Network (MVNO.)
This is either M1(MobileOne) or Starhub. Dominant carrier Singapore Telecom is a part-owner of Globe Telecom. They have a joint product, the Globe Kababayan service.
PLDT Global is a facilities-based carrier. They rent voice/data facilities worldwide from local carriers. With a MVNO setup, the virtual mobile operator such as Smart will have its own branding, serivces, and phone numbers. The underlying infrastructure and radio frequencies belong to the local telcos.
Their current project is 1528 Smart with 25,000 subscribers. Quoting PLDT Global president Al Panlilio:
PLDT Global made between P93 million and P117 million a month, largely on the sale of Smart products and services in Hong Kong. He said “1528 Smart” had 25,000 subscribers. “In a span of six months since we launched “˜1528,’ we already cornered 14 percent of the market. By the end of the year, we will hit 50 percent of the market.”
They are looking at MVNO operations in North America, and retail and wholesale tie-ups in regions where the carriers do not offer it.
For further reading: Mobile Virtual Network Operator in Wikipedia.