Facebook, together with TNT, the country’s largest prepaid brand under mobile leader Smart Communications (Smart), are teaming up anew to host a developer competition.
Now on its second year, participants will develop innovative solutions related to health, disaster preparedness and relief, and education through technology.
In April 2015, Smart launched the Free Basics app (formerly known as Internet.org) in the Philippines through its value brand TNT, marking the first time the service was made available in Southeast Asia. Last year, TNT also held the first run of the Mobile Web Developer Challenge together with Smart Dev Net in collaboration with Facebook.
Free Basics by Facebook provides people with access to useful services on their mobile phones. With Free Basics by Facebook, access to select websites and services is free and does not incur data charges, allowing users to benefit from content like news and job listings, as well health, education, and local information.
“We want the millions of our ka-tropas to have quick and free access to valuable information through their mobile devices. We are glad to partner with Facebook in making this happen through the Free Basics platform,” said Katrina Luna-Abelarde, Wireless Consumer Operations Head at Smart. “TNT is the first prepaid mobile brand in the Philippines to launch this program, which helps developers create relevant and free mobile internet sites for millions of ka-tropas nationwide,” she added.
Top projects from the competition will be chosen to come back on pitch day happening on September 9, 2016 to demo the finished mobile site before a panel of judges. The winning project will be added to the bookmarked sites in FreeBasics.com and will be promoted in schools to drive awareness.
“We’re committed to supporting local developers, and this is central to our mission to bring locally relevant, free basic services to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected to the internet. We are excited to work with Filipino developers for the TNT Mobile Web Developer Challenge, which will help more Filipinos connect to valuable services that are designed to help them better their lives,” said Alice Wei, Strategic Product Partnerships, Southeast Asia, Facebook.
The winning team will get a cash prize, a trip to the Facebook office in Singapore, and an FbStart package with benefits valued up to USD 80,000.
“With free and easy access to valuable information, millions of our ka-tropas will now be equipped with additional knowledge. We wish to empower them in every step of the way to welcome change simply because it’s a tropa thing to do,” Abelarde concluded.