Smart Communications, Sun Cellular, and Smart subsidiary Voyager Innovations, Inc. announced a strategic partnership with crowd-sourced navigation app Waze (waze.com) to expand local awareness of the said app and help Philippines drivers save time on every drive. This will be the first time a Philippine mobile operator partners with a social navigation pioneer.
Recently acquired by Google, Waze combines GPS navigation technology with social networking, enabling users to swiftly identify the fastest and most efficient map routes. Millions of Waze drivers enable the service to adjust its reports in real time, based on constantly changing road conditions such as heavy traffic or accidents.
In the country, Waze still needs to grow to become more effective in delivering traffic-sensitive routes to users. Through this partnership, the companies will encourage further expansion of Waze usage through a marketing, promotion and distribution agreement to Smart and Sun’s more than 73.4 million subscribers.
Smart and Sun will pre-install the Waze application on smartphones bundled under its commercial postpaid and prepaid offerings. The Waze Philippines map will display Smart- and Sun-branded retail pins to help extend both companies’ customer service. Voyager, on the other hand, will serve as a critical partner, working with Waze for technology integration and exchange of map data for both Smart and Sun.
Special promotions by Smart and Sun are on the works and will be announced soon. Hopefully, subscribers will be able to use Waze without incurring any data charges in the future, or something to that effect.
Early this year, Waze was recognized as Best Overall App at the Global Mobile Awards 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. With the Philippines as one of the fast-growing smartphone markets in Southeast Asia, mobile apps and data usage is on the rise.