Broadband continues to post growth-A A +A
Friday, June 22, 2012
MAKATI CITY -- Telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is looking at its broadband business as a major contributor to its growth this year.
"Given its substantial network investments, PLDT is well positioned to harness the potentials of broadband and to maintain its market leadership in this area," Napoleon L. Nazareno, president and chief executive officer of PLDT and Smart Communications Inc., said in his presentation during the PLDT Annual Stockholders Meeting at Dusit Hotel here recently.
He said broadband continued to register strong growth last year as PLDT's combined subscriber base grew by 45 percent to 2.9 million at the end of 2011.
"Smart Bro subscribers grew to 1.6 million; DSL subscribers rose to nearly 743,000 and Digitel recorded over 551,000 subscribers," Nazareno said.
PLDT formally acquired Digitel Telecommunications Inc., which owned Sun Cellular, in October last year.
"At the end of April 2012, our combined broadband subscriber base already exceeded the three million mark," he added.
Broadband revenues also rose 18 percent year-on-year to P18.8 billion for 2011, according to Nazareno.
"The growth momentum was sustained in the first quarter of 2012 with a 34 percent year-on-year increase in broadband revenues to P5.8 billion," Nazareno told PLDT stockholders.
He said broadband revenues account for about 14 percent of PLDT consolidated service revenues and has potential to become even more significant in the future.
"Part of this growth will come from mobile internet browsing, the revenues from which are expected to climb as social networking keeps growing in popularity and as smartphones and other web-capable devices becomes more pervasive," he said.
Wireless leader Smart also continued to lead the Philippine wireless broadband market for the 7th year in a row as it tops the 1.6 million subscriber mark.
According to information from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), nearly half a million more Filipinos have turned to Smart for their mobile wireless (Plug-It) and fixed wireless (Home) broadband needs compared to its closest competitor.
"We have kept and even improved on our commanding 60-percent share of the market because we strive to keep Smart Broadband subscribers happy and satisfied," Smart Broadband Internet and Data Services head Lloyd Manaloto said.
"We're confident that our numbers will only go up because more and more Filipinos are resisting mediocrity so that they can Live More with Smart," he added.
A study conducted by independent research group Philippine Survey and Research Center (PSRC) reveals that Smart Broadband outperformed its rivals in all fronts in terms of consumer perception.
Surveyed were 1,800 males and females aged 13 to 60 years old from ABCD socio-economic classes from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao during the first quarter of the year who viewed Smart as the superior brand when it comes to brand image, product quality (consistent speed, fast Internet, signal coverage, reliability, and signal strength), customer service, and pricing.
Manaloto expressed confidence that Smart will be able to further capitalize on the public's clamor for better mobile Internet service as the company, along with parent firm PLDT, wraps up its network modernization efforts.
Part of the hardware upgrades in the P67.1 billion endeavor are the installation of powerful Multi Radio Access base stations that are capable of offering mainstream 2G, 3G, and new technologies such as High Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) and Long Term Evolution (LTE) depending on market demand.
HSPA+ and LTE are fourth generation (4G) wireless broadband technologies which are capable of download speeds of up to 84Mbps and 100Mbps, respectively. Smart is the only wireless services provider in the Philippines with a working LTE network.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 23, 2012.