ABS-CBN forays into telco business


MANILA, Philippines–Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. plans to launch its own telco brand that aims to give subscribers access to exclusive content on mobile devices, as part of plans to reach audiences that are slowly changing their viewing habits.

On Tuesday, ABS-CBN said its new “ABS-CBN Mobile” telecom brand, made possible through a network-sharing deal with Globe Telecom, would be launched before the year ends.

“This is effectively a new player in the telco industry,” ABS-CBN Corp. chair Eugenio Lopez III told reporters at a press conference. “(ABS-CBN Mobile) will just be like Smart (Communications) and Globe. Subscribers won’t even notice that it’s a deal with Globe,” he said.

Lopez was mum on the exact details of the commercial arrangements between the two firms, but he said ABS-CBN would be “buying capacity” from Globe. The amount the media firm pays the telco would depend on how much bandwidth is used.

“This is the natural evolution of the (media) industry. It’s what we think our consumers want,” Lopez said.

Once it’s launched, the ABS-CBN Mobile brand will have its own prepaid and post-paid services. The company will also bundle smartphones, Internet dongles, and tablet computers to its post-paid offers. Carlo Katigbak, head of ABS-CBN Mobile’s operator ABS-CBN Convergence, said rates for call, text, and data services would be at par with industry averages.

“ABS-CBN Mobile will be a sizeable player in the telco market,” Katigbak said. He said the ABS-CBN Convergence would spend about P2 billion to P3 billion over the next two years to build up its telco business. The deal with Globe is good for five years, which can be renewed at the end of the contract.

The Lopez family is no stranger to the telecom business. It currently owns Bayan Telecommmunications Inc. (Bayantel), which has its own nationwide phone network but is still a much smaller rival to major players like Globe and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT).

Ayala-led Globe also recently announced plans to acquire Bayantel from the Lopez group.

ABS-CBN Mobile is expected to help the media conglomerate compete with PLDT, which is owned by the same group that runs Associated Broadcasting Corp. (ABC), the operator of TV5.

Lopez said the company was not concerned about alienating other mobile phone users by making ABS-CBN’s mobile content exclusive to the firm’s phone subscribers. “(PLDT) has TV5… it’s very hard to be in the middle of both networks,” Lopez said.

He said the partnership with Globe—which is the first of its kind in the Philippines—would give ABS-CBN an important foothold in the mobile media sector. He said this would be important once digital TV services are launched by local media networks.

Users with digital TV-enabled devices will be able to receive free TV signals on their smartphones or tablets.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Prangka

    Lopezes are not exactly people of business caliber. Just look at Meralco now compared to what it was before? Simula hinawak ni MVP ang laki ng improvements. Ang Sky Cable nangigipit sa kalaban ng ABS-CBN – hindi professionals. Ang ABS CBN instead gawing constructive criticism para bigyan ng improvement ang kanilang mga shows dahil sa pagka ungos ng rating ng kalaban ay lumipat sa hindi kilalang survey para masabi lang sila ang no. 1.

    • Guest

      Kantar Media has more sample panel homes than AGB plus it offers nationwide ratings rather than mega manila only.

    • soniboi

      Kantar Media has more sample panel homes than AGB plus they offer a nationwide rating unlike AGB’s mega manila only.

    • Mark A. B. Andrade

      I beg to disagree – LOPEZES are the most Filipino among tycoons in the Philippines Today. Marcos ruined their fortune that is why it shrank to bankruptcy during Martial Law. Still, when they got back their companies (bankrupt companies) they managed to bring it back to profitability in just few year. Of course not without a huge loans from banks. But not they are on their feet kicking again. Only BAYANTEL is the last company in their porfolio suffering from huge debt due to crushing Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. Globe is taking over BAYANTEL’s debt and use their mobile frequencies for expansion. LOPEZ has fairly huge Media Conglomerate – they call it Comm Group – ABS – SKy & BAYAN. . . Power & Manufacturing & Real Estate is under First Philippine Holdings – they are doing pretty good this days compared to what they are after matial law.

      Without Gokongweis and Sy’s – the Philippines would survive – but if LOPEZES close all their Power and Media for just 1 day – blackouts and silence are everywhere. . .

  • indiosbravos2002

    Globe to lease bandwidth to ABS CBN. Anong bandwidth pinagsasabi nyo. GLOBE’s mobile data service is crap.

    • Guest

      FYI, Globe recently aqcuired the bandwith used by BayanTel.

    • soniboi

      Globe recently acquired Bayantel including its bandwidth.

    • Mark A. B. Andrade

      Globe is on finishing stage of their 700 Million Dollars Network upgrade – they are highly fiberized now, they can handle even 4G & LTE after they finish their upgrade this 3rd quarter off 2013. . .

  • p00rd0y

    at lalaos pa rin…

    sa umpisa mga fanatic makikisama, pag pumangit na serbisyo, eto ay babalik na sa kanilang nakasanayang network….

  • ej1015

    Users with digital TV-enabled devices will be able to receive free TV signals on their smartphones or tablets.

    this is good so that I can watch GMA7 on my phone.

  • Mark


    I only watch SOCO, Boxing, UAAP and NCCA from your network through Youtube, Vimeo and Dailymotion.

    Don’t waste your money to get the ABS-CBN crap, you can get it for free.

    • Guest

      ABS-CBN owns ANC, Hero, Balls, Myx, Velvet, Cinema One, and Lifestyle network plus they have 2000+ films in their library. I think those are the particular content they would market.

    • soniboi

      ABS-CBN owns ANC, Balls, Cinema One, Hero, Myx, Jeepney TV, LIfestyle Network plus they have over 2000 films in their library. I think those are the particular contents they would market. Not to mention their ABS-CBN Publishing subsidiary and ABS-CBN Interactive which owns Amped Philippines. Star Cinema and Star Records to name a few.

  • krisatienza

    What happened to Lopez-acquired Bayantel? I don’t understand this new partnership with Globe when Globe is paying services with SMART Communications. This would only mean more expensive outlay services that customers will have to pay. Bayantel on the otherhand has the network capability that could rival SMART. Why don’t they use that existing network made by Bayantel? Sayang yung brand ng Bayantel.

    • Paul Eugenio

      Globe already acquired Bayantel from the Lopezes. Bayantel has mobile frequencies which Globe is about to use for its expansion. ABS-CBN will it lease it to launch ABS-CBN Mobile.

      In effect, the big winner here is ABS-CBN/Lopezes since they rid out a bad asset, they also had a chance to utilize their frequencies using Globe’s platform.

      • krisatienza

        Thanks for the information. Still, The Lopezes floundered, in my assessment, Bayantel. How do they expect to market this when they didn’t do Bayantel justice? Use Papa Ching and Maya to market the phone?

      • Mark A. B. Andrade

        BAYANTEL wasn’t able to expand because they are tied to pay huge debt caused by 1979 ASIAN Financial Crisis. According to Lopez Family – Bayantel is one of their failed investment – had they choose to invest in Mobile instead of Land Line it will be more than sufficient to pay debt and still expand even with Asian Financial Collapse.

      • Kristoffer Atienza

        Got that but you exactly got my point: Failed Investment. How can they now compete with Smart, Sun, and their ‘partner’ Globe when they made bad decisions regarding company direction? If the Lopezes decisions in the past was bad, how can they move towards getting more committed investors when they only have tele-seryes and movies as stock to make this look like a good deal? They would definitely have to ‘pirate’ executives from SMART or Globe to make something happen for people to believe that they have what it takes to compete in the Mobile Industry.
        Here’s another unpublicized point but you can almost smell it: TV5 will definitely partner with MVP company SMART and PLDT to deliver digital entertainment capabilities. So yeah, between the two – even if The Lopezes jumped the gun in protracting a new monopoly war in digital-mobile TV entertainment versus the Pangilinan Group, I would still go with MVP just because of experience.
        The Lopezes should know that such partnerships with The Ayalas should just be more than mere Press Releases.
        In the end, what’s their plan?

  • noynoyingalways

    FLOP nanaman toh for sure… LOPEZ group never learned their lesson… kaya NAHULI na sila sa Biyahe madame ng tycoon na naunahan sila na before walang wala lang…

    • Bulagas

      tama ka, kasi si Lopez panay politica at pag kapit sa me power inaatupag… sobrang nadala yung pamilya na yan kay Marcos kasi kinalaban nila ang politician… ngayon naman sobrang tuta ng mga politician hindi na magaling na businessman… hahahah

      • Mark A. B. Andrade

        Sa palagay ko ay mali ka – sapagkay LOPEZ lang ang may Balls na lumaban sa mga tiwaling politiko. ABS-CBN is the LOPEZ Power – no one dares to pick up fight with them. Look at GMA – she choose to severe ties with the Lopezes, what happned to her..? she’s under house arrest now.

  • tyurl

    Di ba ung Bayan Tel Lopez din un? Pero palugi na? So gagawa sila uli ng isa pa using the “brand” of ABS-CBN and the platform of Globe? Tapos ano ung exclusive content? Panay useless showbiz info?

    • soniboi

      ABS-CBN owns ANC, Balls, Cinema One, Hero, Myx, Jeepney TV, Lifestyle Network plus they have over 2000 films in their library. I think those are the particular contents they would market. Not to mention their ABS-CBN Publishing subsidiary and ABS-CBN Interactive which owns Amped Philippines. Star Cinema and Star Records to name a few.

  • Bulagas

    another garbage idea from the garbage media company abs… puro kaka sipsip nanaman kay noynoying ang laman niyan

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos