Telco wars: Who’s really number 1?
Telco wars: Who’s really number 1?
The telco war heats up again as both Globe and PLDT say they hold the top spot in the country’s mobile industry

MANILA, Philippines – Which telco group is number 1 in the Philippines? Two giants both claim they are.

The telco war heats up again following latest pronouncements from both the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Globe Telecom Incorporated that they are the number 1 in the mobile phone business in the country, which, incidentally, is dominated by only the two of them.

Globe is ‘number 1’

Globe emerged as the number 1 mobile brand in the country, said its president Ernest Cu in a press conference on Tuesday, April 7, following the company’s annual stockholders meeting.

The Ayala-led telecommunications firm has established leadership in the Philippine mobile industry on multiple business fronts, making it the number 1 mobile brand in the country on the back of its remarkable company performance in 2014, Cu said.

He added that Globe maintained a defiant and fighting stance against longtime industry giant PLDT – which owns Smart, Sun Cellular and Talk N’ Text – to achieve a phenomenal financial feat.

“From being a challenger brand, Globe waged a revolution in all fronts, from digital, technological, and business, all the way to our corporate culture as well as making our financial growth sustainable in the long run,” Cu said.

Globe already made headway in taking over the leadership position in postpaid and mobile data businesses in terms of consolidated mobile revenue market share as early as the fourth quarter 2013, Cu added.

The company widened such gap in the fourth quarter of 2014, while its prepaid value brand TM hit a virtual deadlock with PLDT’s Sun Cellular in the same category in terms of consolidated revenue market share.

According to Cu, Globe also had the highest revenue market share on a per brand basis with 32.9%; followed by Smart with 28.2%; Talk ‘N Text with 16.8%; Sun Cellular with 11.1%; and TM with 10.8%.

Cu said that Globe achieved milestone-setting financial feats in 2014 bannered by a 9% rise in consolidated service revenues to P99 billion ($2.22 billion) – a 25% increase in core net profit to a record level of P14.5 billion ($325.54 million).

“The numbers reveal that we have already gained foothold in leadership in the local telco industry. We plan to sustain our momentum for the long haul as our driving force to continuously provide Filipinos with innovative products and services that will cater to their digital lifestyle,” Cu added.

PLDT is ‘undisputed number 1’

PLDT though remains the undisputed, number 1 mobile service provider in the Philippines, its spokesperson Ramon Isberto said in response to Globe’s Tuesday pronouncement.

“Smart continues to be the number one mobile service provider in the Philippines, in terms of both subscriber base and revenues,” Isberto said in a statement Tuesday.

As of end-2014, Smart has over 56.4 million subscribers in its prepaid, postpaid, and broadband services with revenues amounting to P92 billion ($2.07 billion) last year.

Isberto added that PLDT’s wireless units – Smart and Sun Cellular further dominate the industry with a subscriber base of 72.8 million and with combined revenues of P114.5 billion ($2.57 billion).

The higher subscriber base and revenues clearly give the PLDT wireless group the strong and undisputed number one position in the mobile industry, Isberto stressed.

In 2012, Rappler published a report examining the telco war between PLDT and Globe following a series of claims and counter-claims by executives. (READ: Globe vs PLDT: Who is winning the telco war?) –

$1 = P44.54

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