MANILA, Philippines – Converge ICT, an internet service provider (ISP) in the Philippines, launched new broadband internet subscription plans on Wednesday, May 17.
The ISP, whose connections are fiber-only, introduced their new entry-level plan: a connection that can go up to 25 Mbps (Megabits per second) for P1500 a month without a data cap. The plan is an upgrade from their older 20Mbps/P1500 a month connection. (Read: Free WiFi in public places soon to be a law)
Users who are already subscribed to the said plan will receive the 5Mbps boost to their connections.
For the higher-end home market, Converge launched new "FiberXtreme" plans: 300Mbps/P4500 a month and 500Mbps/P7000 a month. The company retains existing 50Mbps/P2500 a month and 100Mbps/P3500 a month plans – all of which don't have a data cap. '(Read: Faster, cheaper' Internet via DICT's national broadband plan)
For small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), Converge offers "iBIZ" plans designed for loads heavier than the typical home needs. For large enterprises, they offer "Converge Enterprise," a package that includes a connnection with speeds of up to 1Gbps and other services such as disaster recovery and managed data center services.
Converge's appeal is that their rates are cheaper than other available broadband services.
PLDT's rates for their no-data-cap fiber connections are 5Mbps/P1699 a month, 20Mbps/P1899, and 50Mbps/P2899. Globe, meanwhile, has a 10Mbps/P1299 a month plan capped at 50GB (LTE) or 100GB (DSL), and a 15Mbps/P1599 a month capped at 150GB. Skycable has 3Mbps/P999, 8Mbps/P1399, and 16Mbps/P1999 a month plans. On a peso-per-Mbps basis, Converge's broadband plans are cheaper. (Read: Here's how much your broadband rates have dropped)
While cheaper, Converge is at a disadvantage in terms of its coverage area. It's mostly available in Metro Manila and some parts of Luzon with the farthest from Manila being Baguio up north and Batangas down south. Currently, they plan to put up networks in Nasugbu, Batangas and San Fernando in La Union. Jesus Romero, the chief operating officer of the company, says they plan to be able to cover 100% of Luzon in 3 years, after which they'll begin expanding to Visayas and Mindanao.
Globe, PLDT and Skycable reach more areas than Converge right now.
Rappler also conducted a one-on-one interview with Romero, where the executive discussed some of their processes in laying down their fiber network, their status as a "disruptive" player in a field of established titans, and their desire to deliver a solid customer experience in the hopes of encouraging word-of-mouth referrals:
You can also catch the Converge presentation streamed on Facebook Live, posted at the top. You can also watch the earlier part of the presentation here.