TO FURTHER make the internet affordable and accessible to the broader masses, listed firm Converge ICT Solutions Inc. will start the nationwide rollout of its prepaid fiber product Surf2Sawa (S2S), starting Thursday, March 16, 2023.
“It is our belief that digital access is now a right of everyone. Thus, we want to provide our people with the internet that they don’t just deserve but that they can afford as well. In this digital age, we want to make sure that no one will be left behind,” said chief executive officer Dennis Anthony Uy during Thursday’s Q4/FY2022 hybrid media briefing.
Uy said they want to bring fiber to the low-class D and E market and use the same technology that the upper-class market is currently enjoying.
The S2S, which Uy described as a project close to his heart, provides unlimited fiber internet at 25 Mbps speed per household and comes in different packages--P50 for one day, P200 for seven days, P380 for 15 days, and P700 for 30 days.
The S2S prepaid fiber requires a one-time P1,000 installation fee.
Since its soft launch, S2S has become available in 420 cities and municipalities in the country, including key areas in Bulacan, Batangas, Quezon, Bicol, Panay and Negros.
“We are seeing good traction in the uptake of our prepaid fiber with an average month-on-month growth of 20 percent in total subscribers since we rolled out last year. We are able to do this through our partnership with the now micro-entrepreneurs in the communities,” said Uy.
Converge will be spending P12 to 15 billion in capital expenditures (capex) this year, lower than the P22 billion it deployed in 2022. This year’s capex will focus largely on port deployment in growth areas.
The plan to trim down the 2023 capex was already announced last year given the company’s massive portfolio of unused capacities.
Converge ended 2022 with consolidated revenue up 27.3 percent to P33.7 billion, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) grew to P19.3 billion. The company’s 2022 net income stood at P7.4 billion. These surpass the 25 percent revenue growth guidance and 55 percent Ebitda margin target for the year.
Revenues from the residential business grew by 27.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) to P29.5 billion in end-December 2022, driven by an 11 percent growth in the subscriber base. On the other hand, enterprise revenues increased by 26.4 percent YoY to P4.2 billion during the same period, mostly from the strong revenue growth in the small and medium enterprises and wholesale segments.
Meanwhile, Converge continued to aggressively expand its network with total homes passed reaching 14.9 million at the end of 2022, accounting for 56.2 percent of total Filipino households. This is ahead of the company’s commitment to reach 55 percent of the population by 2023.
Total ports deployed as of end-2022 also reached eight million across the country.
March 16, 2023
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