A worker builds a cellphone tower. Pic: AP.

PH telco wars heat up

The Philippine mobile phone industry continues to be among the brightest spots of the country’s economy with combined revenues of over P200 billion (US$4.5 billion).

On Tuesday, Globe Telecom claimed it has captured leadership in mobile phone postpaid revenues and market share in 2014 with P29.9 billion in total revenue last year.

Globe president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu said their postpaid revenues represented 58 percent of the market share towing behind rivals Smart Communication and Sun Cellular’s P21.7 billion for a combined 42% revenue market share.

Cu likewise claimed Globe is now the leading revenue earner on a per brand basis, dislodging chief rival Smart.

Globe's Ernest Cu crunching the numbers.Pic by Edwin Espejo

Globe’s Ernest Cu crunching the numbers.Pic by Edwin Espejo

The telecom giant achieved several other milestones aided by a record P99 billion of consolidated service revenues, 79 percent of which was generated from mobile revenues.

“The numbers reveal that we have already gained foothold in leadership in the local telco industry,” Cu proclaimed in a press conference at the start of the company’s annual stockholders meeting.

SMART has yet to release its 2014 revenues.

On a per brand basis, Globe now has a market share of 32.9 percent compared to erstwhile industry leader SMART with 28.2 percent.

SMART Communications however is still the combined overall leader factoring in the market shares of sister brands Talk and Text and Sun Cellular which have market shares of 16.8 and 11.1 percent respectively.

Its parent company, Philippine Long Distance Telecommunication, reports a P165 billion revenues for 2014.

Smart likewise is still the industry leader in terms of subscribers with more than 70 million users while Globe has a subscriber base of 44 million.

Globe’s other brand is TM which has a market revenue share of 10.8 percent.

In mobile messaging, Globe claimed it bucked the trend of declining industry revenues.

“The country (mobile user) is moving and shifting usage from calls and SMS to data messaging and VOIP type of calling.”

Still, Cu said, Globe recorded a one percent increase in mobile messaging revenues.

“I cannot stress how large 1 percent is in SMS revenue growth,” he emphasized.

Mobile SMS, according to Globe, accounted for 37 percent of total mobile service revenues which closed the year at P29.1 billion.

The figure is one percent above the P28.8 billion at the end of 2013 “driven by the continued popularity of bucket and unlimited promotions.”

“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 said in an accompanying press statement.