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PLDT says user base rose to 69M in end-2012

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Dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) plans to use its “superior” network to attract more subscribers this year from its strong, albeit smaller rival.

In a statement, the company credited its broader network reach, supported by more than 54,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable, for the addition of 6.2 million subscribers to its three mobile brands—Smart Communications, Sun Cellular and Talk ‘N Text.

The additional users that were acquired in 2012 brought the firm’s customer base to 69 million users, widening its lead over Globe Telecom, which ended last year with 33 million users.

“The significant rise in mobile revenues—outpacing the rate of increase of the subscriber base—indicate that subscriber usage of the group’s various services is growing even faster. This is the type of healthy growth that we want to sustain,” PLDT spokesperson Ramon Isberto said.

The company said the 10-percent increase in its mobile user base, which resulted in a 15-percent increase in mobile service revenues, gave the group a 68-percent share of the mobile market.

Isberto noted that flagship brand Smart led the industry in growing the postpaid subscriber business by 24 percent or 133,000 new postpaid users in 2012. “This is a 10-year high for Smart and outpaced the competition, which reportedly grew its postpaid segment by 19 percent last year,” Isberto said.

Sun Cellular, meanwhile, increased its postpaid subscribers to 1.6 million, up 16 percent at the end of 2012. The combined postpaid subscriber base of the PLDT wireless group of 2.3 million is the biggest in the industry.

Meanwhile, prepaid subscribers grew by 9 percent to 67.6 million during the same period, led by Talk ‘N Text, which ended 2012 with 28.4 million subscribers.


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