Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Sun Cellular (Sun), the wireless units of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), continue to dominate the mobile postpaid segment with a 16 percent increase of subscriber base to over 2.8 million, or more than 387,000 net additional subscribers for 2014. This represents 55% of the total Philippine mobile postpaid market.
The postpaid segment also ended 2014 with P21.7Bn in revenues—a 14-percent or P2.6-B increase from the previous year. Postpaid revenues now account for 21% of total cellular revenues for the PLDT wireless business.
“The gains posted by Smart and Sun in 2014 are attributed to PLDT’s integrated wireless network with unparalleled capacity, reach and resiliency, and premium-packed device and content offers,” said Charles A. Lim, Executive Vice President and Wireless Consumer Division Head of Smart and Sun.
In 2014, Smart unveiled a strong lineup of smartphone offerings for all types of postpaid users, including flagship devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the Sony Xperia Z1 and Z2, and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Smart also introduced best-value postpaid plans that came with power-packed entry-level handsets, data allowance, and access to unlimited music streaming via Spinnr. On top of this, postpaid subscribers were also given access to 35 million songs on-the-go through Smart’s exclusive partnership with global music streaming service Deezer.
To further bolster its postpaid growth, Smart recently introduced a revitalized postpaid lineup with better handset choices, bigger data volume allowances, and even FREE music streaming via Deezer for two years. Starting at P999 a month, users can choose from a range of premium handsets that include the Sony Xperia M2 Aqua, the Samsung Galaxy A5, and the Sony Xperia Z3. These new postpaid plans come with bigger volume data allocations for their mobile Internet needs and music streaming on the go with FREE Deezer Premium+ for every subscription.
To empower more Filipinos with the latest technology, Sun offered its postpaid subscribers wearable devices through affordable and value-packed packages. Through the Sun Plan 499 or Plan 649, Sun Postpaid subscribers are able to get their hands on wearable devices, which also come with a smartphone, plus unlimited Sun calls and texts, texts to other networks, mobile surfing and unlimited music streaming via Spinnr.
Another strong entry Plan is the Plan 450 where subscribers can take home a Sun Bundle composed of a handset and a tablet. This bundle is useful for subscribers who prefer to have a bigger screen while surfing, reading books, or emailing, ensuring that the tablet will make the Internet experience more enjoyable.
Sun Postpaid also offered useful, relevant add-ons such as the Value MIX which allowed subscribers to beef up their plans by creating their own bundles for just an additional P99 a month. Meanwhile, the Trinet add-on allows Sun subscribers to call and text Smart and Talk ‘N Text subscribers, also for as low as P99.
In support of its expanded folio of device and services, Sun Cellular also increased retail presence during the year with the launch of the Sun Shop on Wheels – a new retail channel designed to provide the same in-store services as the regular Sun Shops. Rolled out at key cities of Metro Manila and selected provincial areas, the Sun Shop on Wheels is designed to meet daily customer transactions in areas where there is limited access to Sun retail outlets.
To complement the device and plan offers introduced in 2014, Smart and Sun unveiled digital content services which changed the way Filipino mobile users live and communicate.
These digital content offers include access to unlimited music streaming via the Smart-developed music app, Spinnr; digital downloads of Summit Publishing titles via e-bookstore, Buqo; video streaming via Viewstream and Blink; online gaming e-Pins via GameX, among others. Smart subscribers also enjoyed millions of apps on Google Play Store and Apple iTunes, which can now be charged to their monthly postpaid bills.
Lim said that the companies will continue to build on the gains attained during the previous year.
“The year 2014 presented us with opportunities to shape the mobile lifestyles of Filipinos. By introducing our subscribers to an ‘always-on’ mobile data experience, and by giving them more ways to access information and content, we are able to build habit and spur usage among our subscribers, and to translate this to sustained revenue streams for the postpaid businesses of Smart and Sun.”