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I’ve been using Uber for more than 15 months now. Commuting has never been so cool and convenient with it. In fact, I only took a cab thrice since I started riding Uber cars. Convenience is just the tip of the many benefits you can get from Uber. Privacy and safety are topmost concerns of riders and even drivers, and Uber got both concerns covered.

Just in case you’re living in a rock, Uber is a startup company that started in 2009. Its presence worldwide eventually grew, and today, Uber is available in more than 335 cities in 60 countries. Just how cool is that? Uber officially came to the Philippines 18 months ago, and since then, it has been trailblazing ride-sharing practices and policies in the Philippines.

Uber has also been a subject of controversy and media fame. Last May 2015, Wired and Time featured the Philippines as the first country to “legalize” ride-hailing applications and solutions. In a statement by DOTC’s Jun Abaya, he said, “We view technological innovation as a driver for progress, especially in transportation where it can provide safer and more convenient commuting options to the public.” It was a fleeting but shortlived victory for Uber. Last August, Uber had to submit its application for accreditation as a transportaion company to the LTFRB to avoid being “cracked down” by the government agency. The TL;DR of this issue: Uber’s policies don’t easily get along with the current public transportation regulations in the Philippines.

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Uber, being a startup, has always been in the lookout for potential partners, which they believe can help their business model and cause to bring convenience to everyone (including riders and drivers). Just today, September 8, Smart announced its strategic partnership with Uber. This partnership brings in two industry pioneers and trailblazers together to enrich the lives of commuters and drivers.

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During the launch, Ariel Fermin, PLDT and Smart’s Executive Vice President and Head for Consumer Business, said, “Uber and Smart share the same vision – a world where transportation is smarter and more convenient to passengers. By powering Uber cars with FREE Smart WiFi, we are able to bring the Smart Life experience to more Filipinos who can now stay productive and entertained while rushing to work or school, heading to the mall or on the way back home after a long day.”

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It was later supported by Uber’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Mike Brown, when he said, “In Smart, Uber has found the perfect fit to realize our common vision of providing an unrivaled user experience built in a strong foundation of reliability, convenience and network efficiency. The Philippine Government has shown tremendous leadership in recognizing the value of ride-sharing services like Uber and developing new sector specific regulations. It is also why Filipinos today, become the first in Southeast Asia to experience the next generation of truly connected urban mobility.”

Just what can Smart Subscribers can with this partnership?

  • For Uber Riders:
    • Free in-car Smart WiFi, powered by Smart’s leading network and PLDT’s fiber backbone. According to Smart, the service will initially roll-out in select Uber Black vehicles then in all Uber vehicles over the next months.
    • Smart subscribers and Uber riders will also get Uber-related promotions. To kick things off, Smart Subscribers in Metro Manila who are first time users of the app can get 2 free Uber rides worth PhP300 starting September 9 until September 30. OMAZEEENG!

Register your Smart number now to get promo code

  • For Uber Partner Drivers:
    • Exclusive Voice and Data packages, bundles and add-ons
    • Exlusive Phone offers

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Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of GadgetPilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.