Philippines: Globe unfazed by PLDT takeover of Sun

Globe Telecom on Friday said it will be keeping an eye on the acquisition last week of Digitel Telecommunications by Philippine Long Distance Telecommunications (PLDT) even as its corporate communications chief said their fundamental strategy will remain the same.

PLDT owns Smart Communications, the country’s largest wireless telecommunication company.

If anything, according to Globe communications officer Yolly Crisanto, the acquisition will make the competition even fiercer.

“Our fundamental strategy remains the same and we are ready to compete,” Crisanto said adding that they will make quality service as their brand identity.

With the purchase of the Gokongwei-controlled Digital which operates Sun Cellular, PLDT now reportedly controls at least 70 per cent of the market share of wireless mobile phone services in the Philippines.

Sun Cellular is offering unlimited text and calls for minimal charges to all its subscribers and is eating up the subscriber base of both Globe and Smart.

It has a subscriber base of 16 million, making it the third largest mobile phone service provider in a country that has close to 75 million mobile phone users.

Globe is said to have 26 million mobile phone subscribers while PLDT reportedly has 37 million mobile phone users.

Crisanto however said it is too premature to talk about the acquisition and how it will impact the wireless communication industry although she acknowledged that Globe remains the “challenger brand.”

Early last week PLDT announced it has acquired Digitel for US$1.7 billion (Php74 billion) after amid persistent rumors that Vodafone, Europe’s largest telecommunication company, was trying to buy into Sun Cellular company.

PLDT and Digitel are no strangers to corporate takeover bids.

In 2002, John Gokongwei unsuccessfully tried to seize control over PLDT, then already controlled by Manuel Pangilian after acquiring it from Tony Boy Cojuangco, which eventually led to the mall and banking mogul to unload its shares in the telecom company at a hefty price.

Gokongwei formed Sun Cellular which positioned itself as the third player in the three-cornered competition in the lucrative wireless telecommunications industry.

Globe last week launched its own TM Unlitextall exclusively for General Santos City.

For P15, all TM subscribers will get unlimited text to all networks for 24 hours.

TM (Text Mobile) is Globe’s answer to Sun and PLDT’s Talk and Text which all target the lower bracket of mobile phone users.