Sun Cellular posts highest 1Q growth rate
MANILA, Philippines – Sun Cellular sustained its positive streak as it registered a 17% growth of P4.2 billion in its net service revenues for the first quarter of 2012 compared with P3.6B for the same period last year. This is the highest growth rate for any local telecommunications this year.
Sun Cellular president and chief executive Officer Orlando Vea attributed the strong growth to the positive response of the market to the continued improvement of Sun’s network powered by synergies with parent company, PLDT.
“We are elated by the market’s continued take-up of Sun’s services, and they can expect even better products and services to be offered to ensure that this momentum will be sustained,” he said.
Revenue from Sun Cellular’s postpaid segment in the first quarter of 2012 grew by 20% compared with the same period last year. 2G postpaid subscribers at the end of March increased to 1.41 million, up 26% from 1.12 million in the same period last year.
This is largely because of new subscriptions to higher plans such as the Plan 450 Call and Surf, and the introduction of innovative new postpaid plans like the Plan 250 launched in selected areas in Luzon and Mindanao, said Sun Cellular’s chief operating officer Charles Lim.
“The timing of the launch of these new plans was great as it was complemented by the stronger network that we now have,” Lim explained.
Plan 450 Call and Surf gives customers with smartphones unlimited calling and texting within the Sun network plus 20 hours of free mobile internet access so they can maximize the use of their gadget. The Plan 250 is a special postpaid subscription plan for specific regions.
Lim said these plans, which are more affordable compared to mainstream product offerings, entice would-be subscribers with the free handset that comes with it.
The prepaid market, he said, continues to be robust for Sun Cellular as this segment grew by 10% percent in the first quarter to P2.2 billion compared with P2 billion for the same period last year.
“Since our network has improved, our subscribers are starting to use their line more often. Consequently, people are starting to load in higher denominations such as our Text Unlimited 150 and 200. Also, our newly-launched “TRIO” bucket loads that allow calling and texting among Sun, Smart, and Talk and Text subscribers at affordable rates are picking-up in terms of demand” he explained.
Lim also revealed that wireless broadband business continued to perform strongly, registering a 54% rise in net service revenues to P487.1 million for the first quarter this year.
“Our broadband subscriber base at the end of March climbed by 54% for postpaid subscribers and 73% for prepaid subscribers respectively compared with the same period last year. We are expecting these numbers to rise steadily given the market’s greater demand for mobility.”
He further shared that Sun Cellular started offering SIM-only plans to cater to subscribers who want to use Sun Cellular’s broadband service in their various gadgets, in anticipation of the continuing growing demand for broadband access.
When PLDT acquired Sun Cellular from the JG Summit group last year, Lim said, it made a commitment to continue offering the unlimited products and services that Sun Cellular has always been known for.
Initiative to integrate the PLDT, Smart and Sun networks are also being pursued to support these service offerings, he said.
“We would like to make sure that our existing and potential subscribers are able to take advantage of the synergies available within the PLDT group, and we are very glad that these are starting to pay off,” Lim added.
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