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TECHNOLOGY

Win P150,000 SM shopping money at PLDT Home Rewards Grand Giveaway

More prizes and surprises await the lucky winners of the PLDT Home Rewards Grand Giveaway promo this October and November, with the telco giant adding ten (10) SM Gift Cards worth ₱150,000 each to the prize pool! There’s nowhere to go but up in terms of the stakes, with a whopping ₱5 million cash prize up for grabs in the grand draw on December 8, 2021.

Here’s some better news for shopaholics: The draw dates coincide with SM’s Christmas Season sale, rewarding winners with a once-in-a-lifetime shopping experience to welcome the holiday season!

Planning to join the PLDT Home Rewards Grand Giveaway promo? Keep your eyes on that ₱150,000-worth SM Gift Cards! To get you fired up, here’s what to add to your wish list straight from SM’s upcoming Christmas sale inventory!

1. A wardrobe makeover – Spice up your OOTDs with cool fashion finds from the SM Store! Get that classic Levi’s High-waisted mom jeans  for that all-around casual look and pair it with an SM Woman Puff Sleeve Crop Top.

Complete the look with a Kicks Jelai Lace-Up Sneakers. You can also prepare for that upcoming–and honestly, long-awaited–beach trip with the beach-ready Orange Halter Dress from Coco Cabana and pair it with Crocs Tulum Sandal.

2. A dream home entertainment set – What’s more nostalgic than getting everyone together in the sala, laughing and gushing to some cheesy holiday movie like those good ol’ family reunions? Even with a fewer number of family members to celebrate with at home, you can still continue this tradition with Netflix’s almost unlimited range of flicks and series—just press play. Up the experience with a shiny new Samsung 75″ Real 4K UHD Smart TV set and a Sony Shake X30D high-power home audio system from SM Appliance Center! While you’re at it, it might be time to upgrade your furniture, too, by getting your hands on a brand new Gracen Sectional Sofa from Our Home!

3. Homeschooling essentials – In these days of blended learning, no kid should be left behind. Level up your youngsters’ online school experience with a high-powered Lenovo™ Chromebook C330 laptop from SM Appliance Center, plus a Wi-Fi printer to help them in their requirements. To secure their connection at home without them having to stay put next to the router the whole time, a Wi-Fi mesh system might just be the perfect holiday gift! This add-on ensures strong internet signal coverage wherever they are at home, giving them more movement and space to help in their focus!

4. Work-at-home essentials – Is your trusty computer not as trusty anymore that it’s slowing down your efficiency at work? A nifty Asus X415EA-EK760T laptop from SM Appliance Center equipped with the best specs might just inspire you to work better. Add to cart a pair of high-quality wireless earphones to help you multitask, plus a chic, ergonomic Hank HB Office Chair from Our Home to combat any stressor on the job with utmost comfort. Expect your productivity rate to shoot up soon!

5. Home improvement must-haves – With most of you in the fam toiling through daily life still locked down at home, revamping your space to better fit this new normal mold is now a must. Before rolling up your sleeves for some dirty, DIY sesh, it might be easier to get any kind of job with some nice and shiny-new power tools. A top recos: Black And Decker 18V 1.5AH Cordless Lithium Hammer Drill, Bosch Professional GWS 060 Mini Grinder, and Black and Decker Pressure Washer BW15 – all from Ace Hardware.

Besides the ₱5 million cash prize and the 10 SM Gift Cards each worth ₱150,000, PLDT Home is also gifting one lucky winner with a Play-at-Home Package. Continuing the trend from the previously awarded bundles, the Play-at-Home Package comprises a Sony PlayStation 5, a premium Gaming Chair, and Asus RaptureTouter.

Other exciting prizes for the October-December promo period include a cash gift worth ₱50,000, to be raffled to ten (10) winners.

Over 200 PLDT Home subscribers have already won since the PLDT Home Rewards Grand Giveaway launched in April, with the prizes getting bigger and better each run.

To join the PLDT Home Rewards Grand Giveaway, PLDT Home subscribers simply need to enroll their PLDT account in the PLDT Home Rewards program.

By paying PLDT bills on time, applying for paperless billing, and availing other PLDT services, enrolled subscribers earn Crystals that can be exchanged for shopping and dining vouchers and bill credits for PLDT, Smart, and Cignal subscriptions.

Every five (5) Crystals earned also automatically come with one (1) raffle entry. It’s that simple. The more Crystals earned, the more chances of winning!

New PLDT Home Rewards program registrants can claim 20 welcome Crystals upon registration. That’s easily a lot of raffle entries for more chances of winning!
For more details about PLDT Home Rewards Grand Giveaway, please visit https://pldthome.info/HomeRewardsxSM2021.

TECHNOLOGY

Upgrade your entertainment experience at Great Samsung TV Sale

July 5, 2022 7:03 p.m.

Samsung’s biggest sale of the year is just around the corner, with up to 40% off on TV and Sound Device products.

Dubbed the Great Samsung TV Sale, the yearly event kicks off from July 11 to September 30, and will highlight an array of devices such as the 98” Neo QLED, the 55” Crystal UHD TV, and the Q-Soundbars with Dolby ATMOS.

Top-tier TV experience

Samsung has earned the Global #1 spot in the market for the past 16 years for its exceptional TV features upgrading one’s home entertainment experience.

The Crystal UHD TVs boasts an outstanding 4K picture quality in a sleek AirSlim Design frame.

It has a powerful 4K upscaling which ensures you get up to 4K resolution for the content you love. 

The TV has smart features including built-in apps so you enjoy movies and shows from your favorite apps and Tap View to easily mirror your phone* to your TV with just a tap.

The 98” Neo QLED QN90A not only takes your viewing experience to the next level, but enhances your gaming experience, too.

Optimize your gameplay in real-time thanks to the built-in Game Bar, an on-screen menu that gives you easy access to screen ratio, input lag, connected device settings, and more.

With the TVs QLED Technology, you get no burn-in or image retention to and 100% color volume for a billion shades of color to ensure the best quality of display. 

Plus with its massive 98” screen size enhanced with Samsung’s Quantum Mini LED Technology, which delivers exceptional blacks, next-level detail and superior brightness and contrast, so you never miss a beat in your next gaming session.

Complete your home entertainment system with the Q-Soundbar this Great Samsung TV Sale.

Built with Dolby Atmos technology, you get to experience 3D sound moving all around just like when you are inside a cinema. Samsung’s Q-Soundbars also come equipped with the Q-Symphony feature, letting you enjoy true immersive sound with audio playing from both a Samsung TV and Soundbar speakers. 

So, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars and get the best offers on the latest TV and Soundbar offerings from the Great Samsung TV Sale!

Visit www.samsung.com/ph for more details.

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TECHNOLOGY

5G in PH rising, says connectivity insights provider Ookla

Fifth generation (5G) mobile networks are making significant advances in the Philippines, according to the global leader in network intelligence and connectivity insights provider, Ookla.

Most Philippine operators, according to a report by Ookla, launched 5G mobile networks in 2020 shortly after Thai operators did.

Smart, one of the major Philippine telecommunications service providers, launched 5G technology in June 2019 for fixed wireless units and launched the same for mobile subscribers in February 2020 in Metro Manila.

Globe, another major service provider in the Philippines launched 5G in July 2020, originally targeting subscribers in Metro Manila who had 5G-capable devices.

Both operators used spectrum in the 3,500 megahertz band, which is considered as the “sweet spot” in terms of 5G network capacity and coverage.

Ookla data showed that Smart recorded a median download speed of 200.43 mbps and 19.67 mbps upload speed in the first quarter of 2022. These were way ahead of Globe which registered median download speeds of 121.29 mbps and upload speeds of 9.93 mbps.

Availability of 5G nationwide, Ookla said, nearly doubled in just one year—from 9.4 percent coverage in the first quarter of 2021 to 18.1 percent in the first quarter of 2022.

“Part of this is related to the easing of right-of-way (ROW) rules,” said Ookla.

New ROW rules, enforced by the Department of Public Works and Highways in March 2021, lifted the ban on construction of critical infrastructure, particularly cell sites, along national roads.

Another reason for improvements in both 4G and 5G developments was the active involvement of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in allowing more telcos to enter the playing field.

“A third player was introduced to the market to add competition, improve network performance and reduce prices in the market,” said Ookla in its report.

The way was paved for the entry of the third player by the NTC and Department of Information and Communications Technology which declared Dito (then Mislatel) as the new major telco player.

According to Ookla, the Philippines was not the only country to benefit from ROW reforms. India made the same move in October 2021, or eight months after the Philippines did.

In the Philippines, Smart reached 25.5 percent 5G coverage in the first quarter of 2022 Globe reached 15.3 percent coverage. Ookla attributed this to “spectrum deployment strategies” of each company.

Smart had 1.6 million connected 5G devices to its network in the first quarter of 2022, or more than triple its level—376,000—in the first quarter of 2021. Globe, by end of March 2022, had more than 2 million devices connected to 5G.

Ookla noted that plans of both telcos to further invest in 5G bodes well for the spread of the technology, which delivers faster connection to the internet.

Smart is investing up to P85 billion in 5G rollout nationwide which started in December 2021. Smart’s mobile data traffic grew 30 percent year-on-year to 1,010 petabytes while the number of 5G base stations rose to 7,300 in February 2022 from just 5,000 in 2020, corresponding to a 5G population of 66 percent.

Globe added 390 sites in just the first three months of 2022, extending 5G network reach to 95 percent of the National Capital Region and 85 percent of key cities in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Globe spent at least P92.8 billion to build 2,000 outdoor 5G sites and in-building solutions, 1,407 new cell sites and 1.4 million fiber lines.

Dito, the third Philippine telco, has partnered with hardware supplier Nokia to deploy 5G services in Mindanao in May 2021. In March 2022, this telco rolled out 5G home wi-fi services with 145 Metro Manila villages as pilot areas.

Villages in the cities of Manila, Caloocan and Quezon would be the first to benefit from 500 mbps of download speeds. Tests involving 5G in Caloocan showed download speeds of 512.66 mbps in the first quarter of this year.

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TECHNOLOGY

Infinit Care powers mental health in workplace with technology

June 28, 2022 8:12 p.m.

Members of the media were gathered last June 24, to talk about workplace mental health and how Infinit Care is pioneering a tech-based solution that allows companies to support the mental wellbeing of employees.

Workplace Mental Health

Mental health issues are on the rise, especially among the working population and it’s severely affecting overall health and productivity.

The World Health Organization found that mental illness is prevalent in the Philippines. In fact, it is the third most common disability in the country. The National Center for Mental Health also recorded a 500% increase in monthly hotline calls due to depression during the pandemic.

Companies have tried to answer this plight by providing mental health support whether in-house or through a 3rd party provider.

However, a lot of the options in the market focus on delivering solutions that cater to those who are already in crisis and leave out a significant part of the population.

Studies also show that despite increases in stress and burnout, utilization for mental health benefits remain low due to the lack of access to proper mental health solutions and the persistent stigma around talking about mental health struggles.

A Pioneer in Mental Health Tech

Infinit Care partners with businesses and organizations to provide their employees and community with comprehensive mental health support.

“Our platform of care solutions are founded on The Mental Health Continuum which takes into account a wide range of mental health states so that every employee can receive customized support, no matter what they’re going through, wherever and however they need it,” explained Infinit Care Marketing Head, Paola Silva. 

“Everyone needs different kinds of care at different times. We work with companies who care deeply about the mental wellbeing of their employees and understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. We help companies bring the best out of their people by providing personalized mental health support.” said Infinit Care’s Head of Clinical Care, Shyne Mangulabnan.

Infinit Care is the only provider in the Philippines that can provide multi-channel mental health support.

Available via web and mobile app (iOS and Android), Infinit Care can meet the varying needs of all employees.

Our suite of solutions include 24/7 chat support with real live Care Chat Coaches who commit to an average response time of 5 minutes, a team of qualified licensed counselors and coaches available for virtual counseling or coaching at your convenience, a library of mental health tools and content to meet the varying needs of your workforce, and mental health training and capacity building workshops for the leaders and entire organization.

For more information on Infinit Care, visit https://www.infinitcare.co

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