Philippines (Smart Communications) SIM Card Instructions

+1 310 862-7100
Please be sure to read these instructions prior to departing for Philippines.

If you experience any technical difficulties with your phone or SIM card and you do not contact Cellular Abroad for technical support by phone or by email during your trip, we cannot offer any refund or compensation.

Dialing information
Your phone needs to be an unlocked dual-band, tri-band or quad-band GSM phone capable of functioning on the 900/1800 MHz GSM band in order to accept the SIM card.

Your Philippines Cell to US: 001 - area code - phone number
US to Your Philippines Cell: 011 - 63 - 10-digit number
Your Philippines Cell Number to Philippines: area code - phone number
Philippines to Your Philippines Cell Number: area code - phone number
To make NDD (National Direct Dial) calls, dial 0 - Area Code - Party's Number button on your phone.

To call another SMART Buddy cell phone or other cell phone, add 0 before the number. (This is also true from other landlines in the Philippines.)

Important: US toll free numbers are not accessible from overseas. Be sure to get valid international numbers prior to your departure.

Please Note: There is no support for service when roaming outside of Philippines.

Rental / Phone Purchase Setup

  • Your phone is active and ready to be used in the Philippines
  • Setup for SIM Card Purchases Only
  • Snap out the SIM chip from the SIM card and insert the chip into your GSM Phone with the metal portion facing down as to make contact with the contact prongs.
  • If the menu settings do not appear in English consult your phone manual to change the language setting
  • If prompted enter the 4-digit PIN1 code located as a scratch off on your SIM card casing. The default PIN1 code is 1234. If you don't want to enter the PIN code every time you power on the phone consult your phone manual to turn off the PIN code setting.
  • Your service is now active and you may make and receive calls

PIN and PUK codes

The PIN (Personal Identification Number) code prevents unauthorized access to the SIM card in your phone. If you enter the PIN code incorrectly 3 times in a row, the SIM card will be blocked. To un-block the SIM card, you will need to enter the PUK (Personal Unlock Key) code. Please consult your manual for how to disable the PIN-check feature.

Checking Your Balance

  • Use the SMART menu and select Buddy Balance. You'll receive a message stating your current pre-paid PESO and FREE TEXT balances.
  • You can also send an SMS message to 214 with the following message: 1515. Your remaining PESO and FREE TEXT balances will be returned in an SMS message. (This is a free message to send.)
  • You can dial 1515 .

Purchasing More Talk Time

Additional call credit can be added by purchasing a "Smart Buddy Call and Text Card" recharge card. They are sold in P300 ($7.14 USD), P500 ($11.76 USD) and P1000 ($23.53 USD) denominations at tobacco shops, magazine kiosks and any convenience store displaying the "Smart Buddy" logo. You get 33 free text messages with the P300 recharge card, 83 with the P500 card and 250 with the P1000 card. Even if you have zero credit, you will still be able to receive calls for free.

You can now add credit online with a paypal account or credit card- visit and choose a PHP credit denomination from the "SMART Electronic Load" options, follow through with your payment and use the instructions below to load your voucher code.

Voice Mail

You may request your free voice mail service be set up by dialing *888. Once approved, you may initialize your service by dialing 100 . Voice Mail setup and retrieval is charged as a local call. To retrieve , save or delete messages:

  • Dial 100
  • Enter your 4-digit security code. (The default code is 9999.)
  • Press 1 to play, 2 to save, or 8 to delete messages.

To record a personal greeting:

  • Dial 100
  • Enter your 4-digit security code. (The default code is 9999.)
  • Press 23 to start recording your greeting. (Max time is 1 minute.)
  • Press # to end your recording.

To change your security code:

  • Dial 100
  • Enter your 4-digit security code. (The default code is 9999.)
  • Press 8 to go to the Personal Options Menu
  • Press 2 to enter security code options
  • Press 3 and enter the new 4-digit security code. It is the responsibility of the subscriber to remember the new security code.
  • Press # to save changes.

Customer Service

For network or service issues:

  • Dial *888 at any time from your Philippines cellular phone. Customer service is available 24 hr/day.
  • From a landline, dial +632-888-1111
  • Send a text message to 888 from your handset.

For hardware issues:

  • Please contact Cellular Abroad at +1-310-862-7100 (8am to 4pm PST, Monday through Saturday, English speaking reps) or via email at

Calling Rates

Rates are based on per-minute charges. After the first minute, calls are billed in 6-second increments. For up-to-date currency exchange rates, use the Currency Converter.

Domestic Per min.
Local landlines & National Direct Dial P 7.5 (~$0.14 USD)
Calls to SMART clients P 6.5 (~$0.12 USD)
Buddy WAP via circuit switched data P 10 (~$0.23 USD per 30 mins)
Buddy to other cellular providers P 7.5 (~$0.14 USD)

International Per min.
USA & Canada, Europe $0.40
Ghana, India, Pakistan $0.98
Falkland Islands, Midway Island $2.18

All incoming calls are always FREE


SMS messages within the Philippines are Php 1 ($0.02 USD) per 160-character message. International SMS messages are Php 15 ($0.28 USD). All incoming SMS messages are free.

Service Life

The SMART Buddy prepaid SIM must be activated before the stated expiry date printed on the back of the SIM packaging. You have 60 days to use the initial credit upon activation. Any remaining value will be forfeited after 60 days.

When your account balance reaches zero, you have 120 days to reload more airtime to keep your account active. During this time, you may still receive incoming calls for free as well as make calls to toll-free numbers as well as make collect calls. At the end of this time, if you have not added additional credit, your SIM card will be decommissioned and your prepaid account will be terminated.

To inquire about the possibility of extending your SIM card's service life while outside the SIM card's country of origin, contact the telecom provider's customer service, Cellular Abroad does not provide support for this feature.

You will find a copy of these instructions on our website at /phillipinesSIMop.php.

Cellular Abroad is not responsible for typos, misinformation, change of service or menu prompts, lack of coverage or other possibilities that result in a lack of service or otherwise resulting in not being able to make or receive calls. We try to supply the most accurate information possible. Carrier rates, service plans and related information can change without notice. If you find any discrepancies between these instructions and your actual experience with the phone service or if you have useful additional information, we would appreciate any clarifications, suggestions or corrections. Please send your comments to

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