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Globe: We're still no. 1 in postpaid!

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - It's not about the number of subscribers, but how much money you earn from them.

This is what the country's second-largest telecommunications firm, Globe Telecom Inc, said in claiming it is still the "undisputed leader" in the cellular pospaid segment.

Previously, rival and top-ranked Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) group, which includes Sun Cellular operator Digital Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel), said it is now number 1 in postpaid based on number of subscribers

"Leadership is not solely based on the number of subscribers, but also on the revenues generated from their active and continued usage of your services," Globe argued in a statement on Friday, June 8.

In the first 3 months of 2012, Globe booked P5.3 billion in postpaid service revenues, 34% higher than the PLDT group's P3.95 billion combined. 

"Clearly, Globe postpaid bests competition in both customer base and revenues," added Globe.

But in terms of gross average revenue per user (ARPU), or the average amount of money each postpaid subscriber spends monthly, Smart alone is already ahead of Globe, financial reports of the two companies showed. Smart's gross ARPU is P1,302, while Globe's is P1,162. (Smart's net ARPU is P1,279. See graph below.)

The above represent gross figures from 1st quarter 2012 disclosures from PLDT and Globe to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

PLDT-Digitel marriage

The PLDT group beat Globe in terms of subscriber number after the former acquired Digitel in March last year. The deal gave PLDT 70% of the mobile phone market, leaving Globe with only 30%.

PLDT and Digitel stressed in a June 7 statement that they have breached the 2-million postpaid subscriber mark, overtaking Globe. See chart below. 

Digitel's 2011 figure lumps both cellular and broadband subscribers, while Globe's is just cellular.

Before the marriage between the two, Globe had long held the top spot in the postpaid segment, while Smart was the leader in the prepaid. Third entrant Digitel caught up and briefly overtook Globe in 2010, but the latter reclaimed the spot.

Postpaid is the more profitable, loyal, and ideal segment for broadband-based services -- the 3 attributes that mobile phone operators in a competitive environment aspire for. - Rappler.com

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