Archive for March, 2019

MSME Festival 2019

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in lifestyle, Business, Social News

 

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Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein in his welcoming remarks on the first day of MSME Festival 2019
 

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The guest of honour with the panel of speakers for MSME Festival 2019
 

My first impression – Very, very impressed for once. I have seen many local expos in Brunei and this is maybe the right mix of all sorts kinda expo. I’m quite glad that Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) initiated this exhibition known as MSME Festival 2019 (stands for Micro Small Medium Enterprises). The four day event is taking place at the halls at BRIDEX, Jerudong.

It was a nice touch to see more than 200 vendors participating in the first ever Brunei MSME and this will eventually alleviate the presence of their businesses to the consumer ends apart from their presence on the social media platform.

Most of all, I am quite surprised that there are many uprising local vendors that I don’t know such as @ultimatewallet and @lunalid to name a few. Of course, you won’t be leaving the BRIDEX area hungry as there are many eateries to choose from, the biggest group being the food vendors from the BIBD Seed initiative.

If you are still into white rabbit, the local ice-cream vendors such as Rumah Gelato, Kyna, Project Ice-cream and Happy Cream are selling them. Though I wonder if the phenomenon of the White Rabbit has died down a little. My personal favourite is still from Kyna because I prefer solid types and you should try their blackcurrant flavour. Me loves…

I do hope one day the local vendors can expand their horizons out of Brunei. As for now, Brunei’s non-oil related exports only accounts to 3% which is pretty low. I would say we are heading to a right direction and yes, step-by-step, create a good business portfolio, then expand nationally and sustaining the business before pursuing the overseas market.

Oh yea, MSME Festival also has a good line up of forums, local and international speakers, speaking on the topics of entrepreneurship and growth. There are speakers such as Noor Azian Romlan, Director MATRADE, Sabah Regional Office, Pg Mohd Khairi bin Pg Haji Metussin, CEO, Mindplus Edu, Dr Nur Rahman, CEO, Ghanim International Corporation, Fione Tan, CEO, 28Mall.com, Anderson Lim, CEO & Founder, Nimanja, Azri Jumat, CEO & Founder, Rotuku Group of Companies, Christy Ng, CEO & Co-Founder, Christy Ng Shoes and Keeran Janin, CEO & Founder, Avantist Watches.

I would visit Brunei MSME once again before it ends. See it as a localized Consumer Fair kinda of thing. Parking can be a hassle but I would say it’s worth a visit. Do go in the day time or you might be disappointed when food vendors’ food runs out.

The opening ceremony of MSME Festival 2019 was launched by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein.

You can check out MSME Festival 2019 details here.

 

 

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Do visit Sparks Park at Hall 2, BRIDEX
 

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At Cendana Booth
 

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Madison
 

 

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Check out @lunanid pins 😀
 

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One of the speakers at MSME Festival 2019
 

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Many food vendors
 

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Another forum on the first day in the afternoon
 

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I bought myself a pin from Lunanid
 

 

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Check out BIBD Seed food vendors
 

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Interesting wallet concept from @ultimatewallet
 

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Oh yea, I have been paying my things at MSME Festival using Progresif Pay
 

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Seng Yee craving’s for Alin’s Legacy
 

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Sabre Sizzling Fare Promotion 2019

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, Social News

 

 

Sabre Sizzling Fare 2019
 


Contact your favourite travel agents to find out more. Win attractive prizes such as air tickets, iPad, TV and luggage bags.
 

Sabre Travel Network (Brunei) Sdn. Bhd., in collaboration with Royal Brunei Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Ranoadidas.com, today (27 March 2019) launched the Sabre Sizzling Fare Promotion 2019. One week air fare promotion runs from 27 th March to 2 nd April 2019.

Attractive fares to destinations serviced by Royal Brunei Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines can be obtained from one of the 23 locations of the 14 participating travel agents.

“During the 2019 Sizzling Fare Promotion, travellers have the opportunity to shop from a wide selection of attractive fares to their favourite travel destinations and run the chance to win attractive prizes, including three return economy class air tickets to Kuching and Taipei sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines, one return economy air ticket to any Singapore Airlines South East Asia destinations sponsored by Singapore Airlines, an Apple iPad Pro 9.7, a 32” television and Exclusive luggage bags,” said Irene Soon, General Manager, Sabre TN Brunei.“We thank our partners; Royal Brunei Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Ranoadidas and travel agents for their support and participation in this promotion”.

Travel agents participating in the 2019 Sabre Sizzling Fare Promotion include: Anthony Tours & Travel Agency, At-Taqwa Travel Tours, Century Travel Centre, Continental Yachting, Dar El Ehsan Travel, Darussalam Holdings, Freme Travel Services, Grace Travel Agency, Halim Tours & Travel, JJ Tour Service, Pan Bright Travel Service, Mas Sugara Travel Services, Southern Cross Travel Agencies and Straits Central Agencies.

Culinary School to bring the best chefs in town

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Youth, community, lifestyle, food, Social News

 

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Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Ali bin Hj Apong addressed a key note speech during the launch of the Culinary School at Laksamana College of Business recently
 

I liked what the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Ali bin Hj Apong said during his remarks on the launch of the Culinary School at Laksamana College of Business. He said that Brunei need more chefs rather than cooks because chefs can create impact both locally and internationally. I would totally agree on that as being a chef is an entirely different ball game.

I was honoured to witness the official launch of the new Culinary School at Laksamana College of Business and the set up itself was pretty up to standard I must admit. The culinary school has a proper kitchen (see thru concept), preparation area, study area and of course, the dining area to serve the customers.

I could see that LCB has put their sweat and efforts in making the culinary school possible and finally it was officially launched. Being the syllabus coming from City & Guilds, do expect a reputable learning experience for the culinary students guided and facilitated by highly qualified chefs.

I also could see the passion and dedication from the front line (waiters and waitresses), the preparation crew team and the cooking team. They just started the course a few weeks ago and the launch event was their biggest task to date where they served a three course meal to the invited guests at the dining area of the Culinary School.

I was quite pleased to see such establishment and course made available in Brunei and furthermore, with the guidance of the reputable chefs, the students will be able upgrade themselves in the world of culinary.

The Culinary School, one of the first private culinary schools set up in Brunei Darussalam, offers students two City & Guilds culinary programmes: the Level 1 Certificate in Food Preparation and Cooking and Level 2 Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking.

The Level 1 Certificate covers all the main elements of food preparation, while the Level 2 Diploma builds on the Level 1 Certificate course.

For more details, you can visit Laksamana College of Business website.

 

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Officiating the launch of the Culinary School by the Minister
 

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The Minister touring the dry kitchen area
 

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The Minister viewing the kitchen area where the food were being cooked and prepared
 

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The dining area
 

 

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One of the students from the Culinary School preparing the entree for the guests
 

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Another student busy preparing the entree
 

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I love this dish the most. Good texture too.
 

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The finishing touch for the sago
 

Audi the overall winner in “Best Brands in All Classes”

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in audi, lifestyle

 


Audi the overall winner in “Best Brands in All Classes”
 

Audi is the big winner in the Auto Bild “Best Brands in All Classes” reader survey. The four rings won seven individual victories in the quality assessment – and easily took the overall win. Audi also placed first in the design and price/performance categories as well as in the “Reliable Cars” image field. No brand performed better in the core criteria of the image survey, in which over 70,000 readers participated.

Bild readers found that Audi does the best job in terms of quality, design and price/performance. Readers voted the four rings overall brand winner with 55.2 percent approval – ahead of Porsche and Skoda.

No other manufacturer enjoys more trust than Audi when it comes to quality. “We want to consistently delight customers with top quality in the premium segment,” says Michael Neumayer, Head of Audi Quality Assurance. “Auto Bild readers have emphatically confirmed that we have once again succeeded here.”

In the “Best Brands in All Classes” survey, readers of Auto Bild trade magazine rated 38 car brands in 14 vehicle categories. Quality, design and price/performance ratio are considered the core criteria here.

Audi topped the quality ranking in seven categories: compact, midsize, full-size and convertibles up to EUR 50,000, as well as all SUV categories – small, medium and large. The brand chalked up additional individual wins in design in the full-size category and in the price/performance category for convertibles over EUR 50,000. In addition, the “Reliable Cars” category went to the four rings across all classes. The brand thus achieved a total of ten first place finishes – an achievement that continued Audi’s strong finish in the “Best Brands” of 2018.

 

Cashless payments on the rise

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in technology, bank, gadget, Business, Social News

 


Radi El-Fassed, Progresif’s Head of Product Development, Dr Gyorgy Ladics, BIBD Chief Operating Officer  and Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Mohd Jaafar, BIBD Head of Retail Banking addressing the media on cashless payment trends yesterday
 

We are heading towards a cashless society. It takes two to tango though – the consumers and also the merchants (retailers). It was easier to adopt when a bank introduces newer convenient services then such as ATMs, followed by online banking and transferring money through your mobile phones to another account. Now BIBD has provided a better platform where you can pay your services and goods through your mobile on selected merchants. This basically mean you don’t have to use physical money to pay over the counter. All you need is just your smartphone and waalaaa, you don’t need your change back physically and plus you will look cooler just by paying your items using your phone.

Yesterday BIBD emphasized how branchless banking have made it so convenient for their customers as it allows everyone and anyone to have access to financial services and they don’t even have to physically drop by a bank to do so. I was quite surprised that BIBD NEXGEN Wallet has generated more than 14 million worth of transactions in 2018 alone. That’s pretty high for such a small country like Brunei Darussalam. This really shows how technology has made it easier for the flow of money from one account to another account at your finger tips. Actually I am a high user of BIBD NEXGEN Wallet as I have received and send payments through the BIBD mobile app.

The next step now is to actually capitalized on the latest featured made possible by BIBD and Progresif and that is making payments to the merchants using your phone through BIBD’s QuickPay and Progresif’s Progresif Pay.

Present during the demonstration and press conference were  Dr Gyorgy Ladics, BIBD Chief Operating Officer , Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Mohd Jaafar, BIBD Head of Retail Banking and Radi El-Fassed, Progresif’s Head of Product Development.

In the press release, Mubashar Khokhar, BIBD’s Managing Director and CEO, said that whilst BIBD have placed efforts into encouraging the adoption of a digital Bruneian economy via our own technologies that resulted in over 140,000 BIBD NEXGEN banking users, they remain cognisant we need to go further and evolve if we were to create more impact for a truly digital economy.

With mobile penetration, it will create even a bigger digitized financial ecosystem and it will help spur the economy due to the convenience. This will also be a win-win situation for both consumers and even the merchants because of the lowered set-up costs and the barrier to entry (in business) is low too.

So far, they are 100ish merchants that have used QuickPay and one of the leading merchants is Fuel’d, a popular healthy food joint in Kiulap. As more people getting the hang of using digital payments through mobile phones, future merchants/retailers will see the surging demand of cashless payments through means of paying through your mobile phones.

Progresif’s latest product Progresif Pay have entered the market and now they have even bettered their mobile app. You don’t have to be a Progresif subscriber to make use of Progresif Pay (Awww, nice of you) and you can switch numbers through the App as well at your convenience. I am happy for the fact that you’re able to buy iTunes credit through their e-credit tab on the Progresif Pay. Now that’s very convenient.

If you really want to know more about BIBD’s QuickPay and Progresif’s Progresif Pay, head over to MSME Festival to be held at the BRIDEX International Conference Centre 28th to 31st March and you will see some vendors (especially the ice-cream vendors) making use of these said services. You will see how convenient it is to make payments and furthermore, it is secured.

What I am more excited is that you can even pay through means of NFC where you simply tap on your smartphone on the merchant payment terminal and your transaction will be completed, just like that. Easy, huh? I know Brunei is currently behind when it comes to NFC or payments through mobile phones but the momentum is slowly growing and kudos to the first 100 merchants in believing the power of cashless transactions.

We are definitely heading on the right direction and thank you to BIBD and Progresif on making this service available in the Brunei market.

 

 


A demo on how easy it is making payments over the counter through means of your mobile phones
 

 

BND 10,000 worth given to Baiduri cardholders

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in bank, lifestyle, Social News

 


25 customers were in delightful mood as they were in for a treat from Baiduri Bank for the “Shop & Win Lucky Draw Bonanza” at Hua Ho Department Store (Manggis Mall). Handing over the prizes were Pg Azaleen Pg Dato Hj Mustapha, the Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network, Baiduri Bank and Mr Lau Soon Tiong, Manager of Hua Ho Department Store (Manggis)
 


The grand winner – Mazlan Bin Haji Zaini
 

Baiduri Bank hosted the prize presentation ceremony for the “Shop & Win Lucky Draw Bonanza” promotion in collaboration with Hua Ho Department Store. The event was held at Hua Ho Manggis recently.

During the promotion period held from 14 December 2018 to 14 February 2019, with every BND100 spent and paid using a Baiduri Bank issued credit or debit card in participating Hua Ho outlets, customers receive one chance to enter the draw and win shopping vouchers.

25 customers were shortlisted and after a final draw. Additionally, the remaining 10 winners received consolation prize of a Tefal Infiny Press Juicer each.

Presenting the prizes on behalf of Baiduri Bank was Pg Azaleen Pg Dato Hj Mustapha, the Head of Retail Banking and Branch Network and on behalf of Hua Ho Department Store, was Mr Lau Soon Tiong, Manager of Hua Ho Department Store.

To be in the know of Baiduri Bank current promotions and events, the public can visit Baiduri Bank website at www.baiduri.com under the Promotions section, or on the Baiduri Bank mobile app – Baiduri Deals, like the official Baiduri Bank Group Facebook page or follow @baiduribank on Instagram and Twitter.

 


Playing some games at Hua Ho Department Store
 


Second prize winner – Bong Tjiap Fha
 


Hjh Siti Raihani Haji Abdul Hamid, one of the consolation winners.
 

BIBD Aspirasi winners, Round 2

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in bank, Business, Social News

 


Both winners Mohammad Hasnal and Izzati bin Mohammad Masli were full of emotions after their names were drawn to win the BND 25,000 cash prize (quarterly) as part of BIBD’s Aspirasi campaign earlier this afternoon at BIBD Kiulap.
 

It has happened again. The second batch of the quarterly winners have been feted. Mohammad Hasnal and Izzati bin Mohammad Masli both won the BND 25,000 each as part of the BIBD’s Aspirasi campaign earlier this afternoon.

BANK Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) recently drew out two quarterly and 10 monthly winners for its BIBD Aspirasi reward programme a few days ago and only today, the draw was conducted by Dr. Awang Abdul Nasir bin Hj Abdul Rani, a member of the Shariah Advisory Body at BIBD.

The idea of BIBD Aspirasi is to make people be aware the importance of savings and also to inculcate the savings culture within them and at the same time, supporting the customers to reach their financial goals and even preparing for the unexpected.

The prizes were handed by the guest of honor, Yang Mulia Hjh Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman, Deputy Managing Director of BIBD.

I hope one day I will get shortlisted as I’m also a BIBD Aspirasi customer. Oh yeah, the grand draw will be a whooping, life changing figure of BND 250,000 for the grand prize winner.

It’s easier to sign up for BIBD Aspirasi too. Good luck for the next round of winners.

 

 


Izzati plans to bring her mom for Umrah with the prize money. Alhamdullillah.
 


Hasnal has the intention for Haj pilgrimage and his wishes came true.
 

 


The grand quarterly winners with the other winners who also won BND 2,500 each. Also present were Hjh Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman, Deputy Managing Director of BIBD and Dr. Awang Abdul Nasir bin Hj Abdul Rani, a member of the Shariah Advisory Body at BIBD
 

Are you ready to be the “New Me”?

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, health, lifestyle, Social News, Sports

 

 


Devin Edwards, Chief Marketing Officer of Progresif with Wu Chun, Managing Director of Fitness Zone, during the exchange of documents as Progresif being the title sponsor for “Fitness Zone New Me Transformation Challenge 2019”
 

I remember the days of B.Fit organized by b•mobile (defunct) and Fitness Zone back in 2012. Whoaa. That’s like 7 years ago. Now there is a different and better version known as the “Fitness Zone New Me Transformation Challenge 2019”, an initiative by Fitness Zone Managing Director, Wu Chun.

FZ is always looking ways to create and faster an environment that will make Bruneians fitter and healthier by changing their habits and lifestyle. Wu Chun has seen how social media has been distracting many of us in our daily habits.

“Internet and social media seems to get out of control and that what makes people get lazy sometimes. Spending 30 minutes on just scrolling down on our feeds, we could use it more productively by working out, “ said Wu Chun.

Doing exercise is a good initiative and it could be a life decision benefit and also allow one to be prioritize his or her life on what is more important that could reap you in a long run.

This time, Fitness Zone, has engaged Progresif as the Title Sponsor for the “Fitness Zone New Me Transformation Challenge 2019”.

The transformation challenge is set to fun from April to October 2019, limiting to 300 participants for each category. Each month, an elimination process will be undertaken after the Weigh-In session.

Venue: Fitness Zone Kiulap.
Registration Period: 8th March to 31st March 2019
Challenge period: 1 April to 12 October 2019

There will be a $50 fee to join this competition and do see the poster to see what is inclusive in the $50 registration fee.

 

 

 

 

 


The old bFit competition back in 2012. The winner was Azim and now he is a successful spinning instructor.
 


The good old days when bFit was very popular.
 

The all-new A4 Sedan

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative, Social News

 


Check out the new facelift of Audi A4 quattro
 


Members of the press having a short drive of the Audi A4
 

The 2019 model year sees the A4 Sedan with newly designed bumpers, which together with the new wheel designs accentuate the sporty character.

In the new model year, the Audi A4 stands out with a more striking front-end from the design and sport lines. Powerful, pentagonal contours surround the exterior air inlets – aluminum-look bars structure their inside. The S line exterior package features new bumpers with a sportier look. Their pronounced wedge-shaped design makes them even more eye catching. A U-shaped clip separates the exterior and the interior area, which is finished off with a honeycomb grille. Separate openings in the air inlets guide a portion of the airflow into the wheel housings, where it flows past the wheels.

The singleframe grille also helps differentiate between the equipment lines. In the S line exterior package, the grille now also features slats with a 3D look. A blade finishes off the lower part of the front-end. The rear bumper also comes standard in the new look. Two wide, trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes replace the previous round tailpipes. The diffuser area between the exhaust tailpipes is now narrower. The wheels, which are available in 16 to 19-inch versions, have also been redesigned.

The new Audi A4 is currently available with a 2.0 turbo 252hp engine with the latest quattro all-wheel-drive technology. Compared to the previous model’s tech equipment, the improved A4 now comes additionally with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display, MMI navigation plus, side assist blind spot detectors and pre-sense rear collision protection system. This makes it more than a dozen driver assistance and car technology in one single Audi model.

A 1.4 turbo 150hp variant will also be available soon for the Brunei market. Please visit their showroom at Kiarong and also follow @audibrunei on Instagram for updates.

 

 


Fairol giving this a ride
 


Upgraded interior compared to the previous A4 model
 


Even the front bumper looks sportier than the previous model
 


You will enjoy the Audi A4
 

Samsung S10 a huge hit

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in technology, gadget, Business, Social News

 


Officially unveiling the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e was Radin Sufri Radin Basiuni, Acting CEO of DST as the Guest of Honour accompanied by Juliana Sim, General Manager of DSTIncomm last weekend
 

Last weekend reported high sales since the release of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Prima 4G phone plans last Saturday 9th March, at selected DST branches and all DSTIncomm stores and guess who was one of them buyers? Meeeee……..

Farah Saiman was one of the first few early customers to register for the Samsung Galaxy S10+ phone plan. When asked about why she chose a DST 4G phone plan she comments, “I’m always loyal to brands that I know will offer the best services. I’ve been with DST for a long time and their 4G plans have always been affordable. I’m very keen to stick with DST because they always make an effort to give subscribers more value for their money, like increasing in our monthly data bundles. I’m glad that they’re offering Samsung models as part of their package as well, as I’m also a fan of the brand. Also, since DSTIncomm is the authorized distributor for Samsung, I know I can trust DST and DSTIncomm when it comes to support services both for my phone plan and for the phone itself”.

Khaliq Roziman was another customer who braved the switch between phone brands while subscribing to DST’s 4G phone plan. He comments, “I needed a new phone and I’ve never used a Samsung phone before. I heard so many positive reviews over the past few weeks about the Samsung Galaxy S10 and it has some really cool features so I got excited when I heard DST was offering the phone plan. As a long time Easi prepaid user with DST, the Prima 4G phone plans are actually really affordable. I get more data for the same amount than when I’m on prepaid and I could pay a cheaper upfront as well for this amazing phone. Thanks DST.”

 

 


Farah Saiman is a proud S10+
 


Khaliq Roziman has converted from IOS to Android with the S10
 

The 4G postpaid phone plans of the Samsung Galaxy S10 family flagship models offer various monthly subscriptions and upfront payments. Customers looking for an unlimited data, voice and text plan retailed at $85 or $105 monthly, can grab the Samsung Galaxy S10e for an upfront price for as low as B$242.

DSTIncomm, a retail subsidiary of DST, also reported high sales since its preorder release with more stock coming in this week due to high customer demand. DSTIncomm sells both boxsets and DST’s 4G phone plans.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 comes with a stunning new design, crystal clear screen, the world’s first ultra-sonic finger print scanner and super-sharp triple lens camera. Among other highlights include the wireless powershare giving S10 users the ability to share power with their friend’s device or charge a Samsung Bud at the same time.

For more information on the latest phone plans and other products from DST, visit dst.com.bn

 

 


Here is the first customer at of the Phone Bundle at DST’s Airport Mall branch last weekend
 


I was lucky enough to get a bundle set of the S10e
 

Contact RA

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Contact: +6738677773

About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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