Smart tele-communications customers have been on a roll since the company launched its 3G network late last year.
Since then, access to the information super highway has proven to be fast, and most Internet applications which stream data from cyberspace work flawlessly on the new network.
There are no annoying breaks in the flow of data or delays from program buffering, especially Internet based radios and videos from sites such as Youtube.
But that is only the beginning. Smart is continuing to create new, dynamic services to its more than 120,000 customers, breaking new ground in Belize’s telecom industry.
One of the new additions to Smart’s line-up is its call roaming services for prepaid customers which the company launched last month.
This is a first for Belize. Not only is the service available at a very low cost, but there is no need for customers to make a deposit to access the roaming service. Customers can even recharge their phones while roaming, by using Smart prepaid cards.
But that is not all. Customers need not worry about dialling country codes. The system is designed to work just as though the user was making a local call. This means that customers can just dial from his/her contact list on his/her mobile phones.
The prepaid roaming service is available in Chetumal, Quintana Roo and other parts of Mexico, including Mexico City.
Smart’s Chief Marketing Officer Anthony Mahler told The Reporter that for the first time in Belize, as in many parts of the world, prepaid customers can use their phones to roam and talk as normal. The service also gives customers the ability to send text messages, as well.
“We are working on data roaming services. So hopefully later on this year, we will be offering data roaming to both prepaid and postpaid customers.
Mahler said that the prepaid roaming service is affordable, compared to other parts of the world. The cost to make a prepaid roaming call is $1.99 per minute, and to send a text message while roaming costs as little as 30 cents.
Mahler added that the service at present offers voice and texting. The activation fee to use the prepaid roaming service is $5.00, and once activated, the activation is good for thirty days.
When it comes to its prepaid data service, Mahler said, Smart has prepaid packages, which start at $5 and go right up to $50. Users get the same speed and can get up to 1.5 gigabyte of data.
It does not matter how much data time a prepaid customer buys, the speed remains the same, Mahler added.
Smart is the first telecom company in Belize to develop its own Smart application for use on Android and Windows mobile phones.
“So now you can have access to all of our value added services, such as Your Horoscope, Boledo, Lotto, S.O.S. the latest weather forecast and movies. All of these things you can get in the Smart application.”
“We are also building a content portal, where you can download ring tones and wallpapers. The content portal will see another expansion, when local artists will be added.”
Mahler said the first local artist to be added to its content portal is singer Tanya Carter, who will sign a contract with Smart this week.
The way this will work, is that the artist whose tunes are downloaded will get fifty percent out of every dollar, Smart will get twenty-five percent and the remaining twenty-five percent will go to the content portal provider.
Over the last month, Smart expanded its Smart Circle, with reduced rates. The rate for the Smart Circle was twenty-three cents.That is now down to twenty cents.
Mahler said that some of these services being offered are new, less than a month old.
Another Smart new services is called Customer Service Chat.
“Just go to our website, go to the customer service chat area and get immediate service through a chat communication with one of our customer service representatives.”
Mahler added that Customer Service Chat will keep a log so that there can be follow-ups that can monitor how each situation has been dealt with.
“Smart is opening up Belize to the world” Mahler said, “because we don’t block VOIP”.