Posted by lethal_cassanova
Smart Communications Inc. and its subsidiary, Pilipino Telephone Corp. (Piltel), are out "to rock the market" by launching their own unlimited plan, similar to the P10 "telebabad" campaign of their parent, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).
Smart and Piltel hope to launch the promo within the week, said Rogelio Quevedo, Smart's legal officer.
PLDT currently charges P10 per call within its network of more than two million fixed-line customers and the Smart-Piltel network, which had 19.2 million subscribers at end-2004.
Quevedo said Smart would start the promo for all its wireless service brands once fierce competitor Globe Telecom Inc. launches its own buffet voice and text-messaging promo possibly this Tuesday.
Globe, through its "Touch Mobile" brand, will offer an unlimited within-network call rate of P300 for 30 days and unlimited text messaging rate of P50 for five days, on top of existing subscription plans.
Touch Mobile has an estimated 1.7 million subscribers.
Globe said subscribers that would not take advantage of the buffet price could still enjoy the P1-per-minute call rate starting the third minute of call within the network.
Quevedo said: "Within two to three days after Globe or Touch Mobile launches, Smart and Piltel will respond in our own unique, smart and innovative way. We will offer something that will really rock the market."
Smart currently charges P6.50 per minute for calls within its network. Piltel's "Talk 'N Text" brand, which uses the Smart network, offers rate of P5.50 per minute. Calls outside the network are charged P7.50 per minute.
"We just want to protect our market share," Quevedo said. "Globe and Touch Mobile is our competitor. We did not respond to Sun Cellular because it is very small. Our promo is similar to PLDT's 'telebabad' rate."
He said PLDT's "telebabad" rate applied to PLDT-to-PLDT calls and to PLDT-to-Smart and PLDT-to-Talk 'N Text calls.
"What Smart and Piltel would do is similar," he said. "It will be offered within the group and to all the brands, whether Smart Gold, Addict, Infinity or TNT."
Quevedo said Globe merely copied the "24/7" unlimited plan of Digitel Mobile Philippines' "Sun Cellular" brand.
Digitel has been selling since October a buffet call and text messaging plan of P250 for 30 days and P100 for 10 days.
Quevedo said Globe had no originality and its subscribers should consider shifting to Smart.
PLDT and Smart chairman Manuel Pangilinan said last week: "There is a market segment developing. If that is what the market wants, then Smart will participate in that. We would tap into this new voice market of unlimited pricing."
Pangilinan said PLDT's wireless units experienced the highest subscriber take-up in the fourth quarter of 2004, even when Sun Cellular's "24/7" plan was already out in the market. This, he said, proved that PLDT was hardly affected by Sun's unlimited campaign.
ADMITTING that competition has been altered with the entry of buffet pricing for mobile phone services, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. chairman Manuel Pangilinan said Tuesday that PLDT's wireless units would have no choice but to join the price war.
"There is a market segment developing," Pangilinan said at a media briefing on PLDT's 2004 financial results. "If that is what the market wants, then Smart will participate in that. We would tap into this new voice market of unlimited pricing."
PLDT's two wireless units, Smart Communications Inc. and Pilipino Telephone Corp. (Piltel), ended 2004 with 19.2 million subscribers.
Pangilinan said Smart and Piltel had the highest subscriber take-up in the October-December quarter, when competitor Digitel Mobile Philippines' Sun Cellular brand was already selling its "24/7" plan, which offers unlimited call and text-messaging within its network.
Sun Cellular launched "24/7" -- priced at P250 for a month and P100 for 10 days -- in October. The low-price plan increased its customers to more than 1.5 million as of January from 700,000 in September. Pangilinan said Smart and its main rival, Globe Telecom Inc., "have to address this new market."
"We will decide what options to take," he said. "At some point, sooner into 2005, Smart will tap into this new unlimited voice market. It is a market segment that we have to participate in."
Globe will start this month a 30-day promo strictly for subscribers to its "Touch Mobile" brand. For P300 for 30 days, Touch Mobile users could avail themselves of unlimited voice and text messaging, and for P50, five days of unlimited text messaging.
The need to protect market share will become more pronounced this year, as Pangilinan forecast a slowdown in mobile subscriber take-up for PLDT as well as the whole industry.
Pangilinan said subscriber take-up and revenue in January were ahead compared with a year earlier.
He also said Sun Cellular should be complimented for developing a product that was keeping competitors awake at night. He said he was not among the sleepless ones.
"The paradigm is changing with Sun," he said. "And this provides an exciting future for PLDT."
The PLDT chairman said he was worried that the National Telecommunications Commission might treat Sun Cellular with kid gloves, in contrast to the way Smart and Globe were penalized when their networks were suffering from drop calls.
Pangilinan said the older players -- Smart and Globe -- had invested "tons of money" in their facilities to provide quality service.
He said that if the regulator would not apply rigid standards fairly, then Smart and Piltel would compete under the same terms.
He said he was also worried about how the NTC would decide on issues related to third-generation frequencies, or 3G, and on the Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, which he said would threaten the fixed-line business by allowing cheaper long distance calls.
[ This Message was edited by: lethal_cassanova on 2005-03-08 02:34 ]
Posted by dinky
Wow . . . at least the two monsters (globe and smart) are now keen on offering us better services. I'm now on globe but am seriously thinking of going back to smart. I guess I'll wait a bit and see where this "network war" takes us and who will have the best offer for my needs. I regularly call the US and wish they would consider giving special rates for that. $0.40/min is a lot considering I make calls lasting about 30min to an hour total per day.
Posted by adv99576
did you know that you can call the US for as low as Php4/min???
go to www.digipt.com for more info
Posted by dinky
@adv99576, Thanks for the info! I'll try their service!
Posted by mattoy