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April 17, 2011

It’s not about who’s first but who’s better!

The telecoms industry have always been slugging it out in terms of “price wars”. Sometimes, they’d also do the same in the technology front and being the first of anything new is always considered a prized trophy. Globe and Smart (and Sun, pre-PLDT acquisition) have been like that for years.

Who was the first one to offer WAP again? What about mobile TV? Or 3G? How about WiMax? Now the talk of the town is LTE.

Frankly, I don’t care. I think most customers would not care. After seeing what happened to their 3G/3.5G roll-out and the big promises of their WiMax, it all feels like just mere war of words. Ask any customer if they feel their brand new, hi-tech network connection has improved their internet experience.

From a Corp Comm perspective, being first is nice — it gets you a lot of good publicity (and avoids being called a “me too” competitor) and it’s good for the year-end corporate report (not to mention pogi points to the shareholders).

From a marketing perspective, it’s also good since you get the first-mover advantage and you get support from 3rd party manufacturers and service providers ahead as well.

Lastly, the good news helps divert attention away from existing issues such as bandwidth capping. Wait, what capping?

For us customers, the bottom line is all about “good service” (set aside pricing first). What good use is a technology that promises up to 50Mbps when one cannot even get a decent connection on the existing 2Mbps line? No new technology can guarantee good customer service.

We discussed this in detail during the time when the hot topic what about bandwidth capping and throttling (I have defended the idea for some time, and I still do. See related story here, here and here). If those 2Mbps mobile subscriptions are being shared by an allocated number of subscribers, the factorial could still be the same for a 50Mbps connection. If they’d share 10 subs on a 2Mbps line, then it’s not surprising if they’d share 250 subs on the 50Mbps line. Same 5 is to 1 ratio (I’m just throwing theoretical numbers here). But that’s how “bandwidth provisioning” is done so we’ll just have to deal with it.

How about lowering the “sharing ratio” (or making the bandwidth provisioning more efficient)? How about offering more affordable “up to” DSL plans? How about pushing your current 3.5G network to serve up to 7.2Mbps instead of the measly 2Mbps that’s now in place. At least, even if I don’t get the full 7.2Mbps, a 50% efficiency will still get me a solid 3.6Mbps connection.

Being first can only get you so far. What use is being first when you cannot sustain customer confidence, good quality service (QoS) and uphold a fair policy (can’t even downgrade my 7-year old PLDT line without paying a Php10k downgrade fee). But then again, that’s how our telcos roll.

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35 Responses to “It’s not about who’s first but who’s better!”

  1. Scolex says:

    sana ma-meet ng mga broadband service providers kung ano yung naka-promise sa promotion nila. Kadalasan, puro promise lang. Sa side ng customers, ay nakukulangan sila sa services na ino-offer.

  2. grace says:

    this is exactly what i had in mind. it’s not about who released what first, but who has improved since they released their services.

  3. Faith@ahead says:

    true that! it’s only during my first months of service that i get great connection… after a quarter, it’s crappy!

  4. Bon
    Twitter: taragismm
    says:

    they should first atleast show that they can offer even that half speed of that 7.2 mbps before moving up on that 50MBPS. hayst..

    puro papogian lang kasi labanan sa telco natin.. pero sa QoS wala talaga..

  5. tfcnow01 says:

    tama, its not abt who’s 1st but who’s better, but then, it depends on what your definition of better. ika nga, lesser evil, in this sense it maybe better but then its not good. what i meant for being good is simply give me the right speeds na binayaran ko plus, kailangan stable hindi yung dipende sa oras, sa lugar, kundi ganon, malinaw na nakawan na to. ok lang sa akin na mabagal makuha ko pero yung nagbayad ako tapos diko nakuha yung nararapat na level at quality ng serbisyo, nakawan to para sa akin. ba’t ganon, pag pulis nakahuli ng magnanakaw kinukulong agad, ba’t pag mga malalaking kumpanya na nagnanakaw sa maraming walang kalaban laban eh nakakalusot. kita mo nga naman, yung mga tao nagpapakahirap magtrabaho para magbayad ng serbisyo tapos nanakawan pa, worst is, lusot parati yung magnanakaw. mabuhay ang mga magnanakaw at lalong mabuhay ang mga dapat sumusupil sa mga magnanakaw dahil ala namang ginagawa.

  6. Richmond Nuguid
    Twitter: richmond_origin
    says:

    Nag-apply kami ng GLOBE WiMax last year. Sabi nila within 30 days, meron daw “money back guarantee” kung hindi daw kami satisfied sa kanilang WiMax service. Maganda nga yung connections pero after 30 days, ang bagal bagal na. Bakit ba kailangan na lagyan ng bandwith cap ang mga internet connections natin e pwede naman nilang ayusin yung service nila. Ang 1mbps na Fixed wireless ay nasa Php 1000.00 a month. Sobrang laki na ng Php 1000.00 ngayon! Sana maisip ng GLOBE yung mga ginagawa nila. Puro “fair usage policy”, hindi naman FAIR!!!!!!

  7. tcnow01 says:

    ok to sum it up, based on comments we have the criterias:

    1) customer service
    2) value for the money
    3) quality of service (e.g speed, stability)
    4) technology (e.g. 3G, 3.5G, WiMax, LTE)
    5) amount of service (e.g. data caps, fair usage)

    Guess based on these, one would know if being the first on these criterias is still the better one, hehehe

    Actually, sa LTE me isang feature na maganda kumpara sa 3G or 3.5G. Aside sa mas mabilis, puedeng i-optimize yung network base sa demand ng users/customers sa anumang lugar o service area. Alam kong na ang gamit ng makina ng smart at globe eh NSN kaya tignan na lang natin kung gawin nga nila. it doesn’t mean you have LTE first and you’re going to have the better service. just like every technology, it depends on how you use it. who know, LTE ka nga pero limited naman ang speed mo esp if at the same speed as 3 or 3.5 g, it doesn’t change anything, hehehe

  8. joel says:

    What the local players need is another foreign ISP to join the local market and provide great service (ala the kind that is available in, say, Korea?) for an affordable price (and no capping).

    That should either force these losers (Smart, Globe, PLDT, etc.) to up their game or just die out due to lack of customers (good riddance!). I don’t have sympathy for these local players because they’ve been providing crappy service since the beginning.

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