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Globe Telecom, Smart battle in ‘unli’ text, call market

Competition seen to benefit subscribers

The Philippines’ biggest telecommunications companies are at each other’s neck again, with both launching new promo offers to get a bigger share of the country’s maturing market.

Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. on Friday announced a new prepaid promotional service that would allow its subscribers to send an unlimited number of text messages to all mobile phone users—regardless of service provider—in the country at P25 a day.

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A day after rival Smart Communications Inc. announced a similar promo, Globe said it would “kick it up a notch” by bundling in an hour of free Internet browsing with the new service.

The company said it first offered unlimited texting, but only within select provinces. “We extend the unlimited ‘fever’ to our Globe prepaid customers who make up majority of our subscriber base,” said Peter Bithos, Globe senior adviser for consumer business.

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“With this new offer, subscribers get more than what they pay for,” Bithos said. He said the new promos by Smart and Globe were testament to the benefits of having healthy competition in the industry by making sure that all players were on level playing fields.

Meanwhile, Smart said in a separate statement that it was extending its unlimited all-network text service to its post-paid users. Postpaid users make up a small fraction of Smart’s 46-million user base.

The company launched the new UNLI Text Plan 299 and UNLI Call & Text Plan 599. Plan 299 will allow users to send an unlimited amount of text messages to any mobile phone user in the country for P299 a month. Plan 599, meanwhile, will allow for unlimited calls and texts to all users in the country.

“Our subscribers want a real ‘UNLI’ postpaid plan and so we are giving it to them,” Smart Mobile Marketing head Guido Zaballero said. “With these new plans, we will further cement our position as the number 1 wireless services provider in the country.”

Smart currently holds a 55-percent market share in the country’s lucrative mobile phone industry. Globe has a market share of about 30 percent.

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TAGS: Business, Globe, promo offers, smart, telecoms
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