Smart snaps Globe’s 7-year subscriber lead
MANILA -PLDT Inc. wireless unit Smart Communications has regained mobile market leadership in terms of subscriber numbers after seven years but the telco giant said it was more focused on strengthening revenues moving forward.
On Tuesday, Smart reported that it has 55.2 million subscribers following the implementation of SIM (subscriber identity module) card registration, which is slightly more than 54.7 million of close competitor Globe Telecom Inc.
Globe had 84.75 million SIM cards prior to the SIM listup, markedly bigger than Smart’s 66.3 million. The Ayala-led telco had kept the lead since 2016 up until recently.
“It is a humbling experience. There is a big task ahead on the revenue side,” PLDT chair Manuel Pangilinan said.
“I don’t think the battle should be in subscriber number. The game is really your ability to grow the market,” he added.
PLDT president Alfredo Panlilio said they continue to acquire more customers, with its initiatives like its program for eSIMs. An eSIM is a SIM card in digital form that is permanently embedded in a mobile device, which allows users to link multiple gadgets like smartphones and smartwatches under a single mobile number.
“We continue to push,” Panlilio said. PLDT’s nine-month net income inched up 1 percent to P27.88 billion, thanks to its top line being driven by fiber and enterprise segments. Total revenues climbed by 3 percent to P156.36 billion for the period.
Fiber revenues grew by 10 percent to P39.3 billion in January to September as it welcomed 210,000 new customers. As of end-September, PLDT has 3.14 million fiber subscribers.
Enterprise business revenues climbed by 1 percent to an all-time high of P34.8 billion. This includes contribution from its data center arm, which has been on expansion mode to meet the growing data requirement from hyperscalers.
It spent P55.3 billion in January to September, lower than the P67.3 billion in the same period last year. Full-year capital expenditure guidance remains within P80 billion to P85 billion.
PLDT has been ramping up investment in digital infrastructure, including its 11th data center in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. It is also building fiber cable projects Asian Direct Cable System and Apricot Cable System. INQ