Meralco’s RED Fiber downplays competition with PLDT
Power distributor Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) Radius Telecoms Inc. wants to be an “alternative” fiber internet provider as it eyes a share of the lucrative fixed internet sector while downplaying competition with affiliate PLDT Inc.
The company on Thursday launched RED Fiber, which offers high-speed fiber internet in Metro Manila, nearby provinces and Cebu.
Radius Telecoms president and CEO Quiel Delgado said the company aimed to grow its “few thousand” subscribers to about 500,000 in about five years with offers such as television bundles via affiliate Cignal TV, 90-day penalty-free trials and better customer service.
In an apparent jab at bigger telco rivals that use automated bots to resolve customer complaints, Delgado said they would use “warm bodies” to engage with subscribers.
“Sometimes, people get irate with chatbots and automated responses,” Delgado said in an online media briefing on Thursday.
Meralco is an affiliate of PLDT, which has one of the country’s largest fiber internet operations targeting homes and businesses, but Delgado insisted there was room for another player.
The goal, he said, was to complement the service areas of PLDT and target underserved locations, however, their current network footprint indicated their market would indeed overlap with PLDT’s fiber service.
Jen dela Paz, Radius vice president and chief operating officer, said RED Fiber was mainly present within Meralco’s franchise areas but they would expand gradually to ensure the quality of internet versus the number of subscribers.
For new markets, he said they were looking at Bacolod and Iloilo.
Radius operates a full fiber optic network spanning 5,000 kilometers. Meralco owns Radius Telecoms through subsidiary e-Meralco Ventures Inc. Radius, which has been operating over decades, also holds a congressional franchise to build and operate telecommunications services across the country.
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