The other day, we had a meeting with a Globe executive to finalize details of an upcoming project (that’s for another story though). During our meeting, I stirred our discussion to some juicy stories and they were candid enough to share some information (which I believe is bloggable since I wasn’t asked to sign an NDA *hehehe*).
I was told that new Globe Visibility users will be capped at 5GB of usage per month. The current monthly service fee for their mobile broadband solution (3G/HSDPA) is still at Php2,000 plus some activation fee. The cap is now included in the fine print but the existing subscribers will retain the eat-all-you can feature (unlimited).
Apparently, a lot of the Globe Visibility users are abusing (their word, not mine) the network. Almost ten percent (10%) of all users are pulling down in excess of 10GBs of data each month. That goes without saying that people are really maximizing their use and could be running P2P clients like bittorents. An analysis of the network usage even indicates that some people are not turning off their 3G modems and running them 24/7.
And though it’s the customers right to make use of their subscription however they want, this could led to other subscribers suffering in the end. Network congestion becomes a problem — a similar phenomenon commonly experienced by internet cable users. That May incident where a lot of Visibility users couldn’t use the HSDPA network was an isolated incident and purely a network problem (though the GPRS connection was fine, albeit excruciatingly slow).
They added that at the current rate, they’re already loosing from this project due to cost of running the network. Not surprisingly, I believe Smart Communications could be suffering from the same dilemma.
Looking at it in an economic perspective, the 3G roll out in the Philippines could be in danger. That’s why competing telcos like Smart and Globe are more aggressive in the sales department than in the after-sales support. It’s because in the end, if market usage/penetration cannot justify the cost of deployment and operations, the wisest thing to do (in the business sense) is discontinue the project.