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Globe vs. PLDT: Which had more subscribers in 2017?

Globe Telecom and PLDT (which has mobile companies Smart Communications and Sun Cellular) have been bolstering their efforts to increase their subscriber base, and we have seen this last year that Globe had the overall upper hand in terms of key performance, while PLDT wins in terms of total subscriber count. We check their total number of users one year later, and this is what we found.

We’ve seen both of these companies unleash different prepaid and postpaid promotions that made us awe, skeptic, or curious, and we can’t help to check if these warrant the telcos more users in the past. We were able to obtain both of the companies’ 2017 SEC filings, which details not only their finances and company status but also their key performance indicators including subscriber base. With these data, we were able to compile them in a simple table:

2017 SubscribersPLDTGlobe
PostpaidSmart: 1,388,090
Sun: 1,129,172
Total: 2,517,262
2,484,788
PrepaidSmart: 20,433,351
Sun: 6,535,331
Total: 26,968,682
27,909,102
Other brand/s:TNT: 28,807,964TM: 30,292,265
Total58,293,908 60,686,155
vs 201662,763,209 (-7%)62,798,858 (-3%)

It was a tough year for the telecommunications industry as both companies suffered losses in the number of subscribers on all segments, but Globe managed to keep its postpaid segment nearly flat with a 5,000 subscriber loss. PLDT, on the other hand, has the upper hand in terms of combined Smart and Sun postpaid users to beat the blue brand in this category.

The MVP-led PLDT suffered a huge loss in its prepaid Smart/Sun base — more than three million since 2016 — While Globe’s prepaid segment is quite steady as a lesser 450,000 Globe Prepaid subscribers had gone from the past year. Despite the losses, Globe had the smaller cuts and is now able to take the top prepaid subscriber crown from its arch-rival.

Onto their mass-targeted MNVOs, Globe’s TM has more count than PLDT’s TNT despite both networks losing more than a million subscribers from the last year. Overall, the Ayala-led telco had the smaller loss in the total number of subscribers as compared to 2016 — Globe has -3% and PLDT with -7%.

Also taken into account are individuals who use multiple SIM cards, as these figures are already baked into the numbers presented. Both telco companies acknowledge that a portion of their subscriber base uses multiple SIM cards.

In conclusion, Globe is now assumed as the top telecommunications in the country in terms of total subscriber count, while Smart still has its foothold in the postpaid race game.


Carl spots the newest devices and best deals in town as a Senior Correspondent and creates lists of everything and anything tech with Fast Five. Feel free to drop him a line at @lamielcarl!

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19 Responses

  1. SunCell Subscriber says:

    Do we also have data from other MVNOs like Cherry Mobile Prepaid and ABS-CBNMobile? Or are they included in Globe’s numbers?

    If not, then wow, Globe can now claim that they’re the largest mobile network. So long, Smart. Looks like your Sun acquisition just went to waste.

    • Carl Lamiel says:

      Cherry and ABS-CBN are not included in Globe’s overall numbers in the SEC filing as these are not operated by Globe. As we checked, we were not able to find publicly released subscriber data for these. We’ll make another post as we get them :)

    • Michael says:

      yeah thanks for this question Globe indeed won the market.

  2. Justin says:

    Globe customer support still sucks!

  3. Chaka says:

    Suncellular used to be better. Have better phone and plan options before they were acquired by Smart. Sucks really. They acquired it but never really tried to improve service.

    • Mike Enriquez says:

      SMART can’t beat THE SUN that time in terms of promotion (unli call etc.) so they acquired it and then slowly killing it..my opinion only

  4. Dust says:

    Stick with globe its partly owned by singtel. Mas maganda network ng globe if ur looking for 3g network all over ph. But still its not par at asian countries medyo mukhang pera kc sila at mga nawawalang load. If the govt is corrupt so are private sectors. Mga hindi nagbabayad ng tamang tax mga yan. Kaya u cannot fix a govt that is corrupt and dishonest to the people when private sectors also practice what the govt does.

  5. Mike Enriquez says:

    SMART can’t beat THE SUN that time in terms of promotion (unli call etc.) so they acquired it and then slowly killing it..my opinion only

  6. Alex Amor says:

    Still PLDT.kahit network na gamit ko sa pang internet sa cp nagswitch ako sa Sun.sa Globe sandali lang internet ko di ko namalayan simot na pala.

  7. Roxee Reyes says:

    I tried TM and Globe, at ang worst part dun kahit naka-LTE sim ka na yung signal naglalaro pa din sa G and 3G. Kaya nagswitch ako sa Smart and so far LTE is LTE talaga .

  8. Eyes on the Stars says:

    I still prefer Smart and PLDT. My family and I have been a User of these for YEARSSSS already and we never really had any major problems. Maybe, despite the “nakaw load” issue of Globe, they still try to stay on the game with super duper “pang masa” deals. And that is one thing Smart and PLDT don’t have. But one things that sets the SMART/PLDT from them is that, “mas maalaga” sila and do not compromise the quality of their service over cheap promotions. I am willing to pay extra using Smart/PLDT because they do provide me good, well, best service Philippines have. :) HAPPY CUSTOMER HERE!

  9. gram says:

    Ibang klase talaga ang smart/pldt sa tagal ko nang gumagamit nito wala akong naging problema nang kahit ano di nila pinababayaan ang kanilang subscriber inaalagaan nila kami sa abot ng kanilang makakaya. Meaning Mayroon talagang free competition sa telecon industry natin. Atleast papagandahin nila ang kanilang service . But for me pldt pa rin heto na inubutan ko sa bahay black pa kulay telephone namin nun. Hehehe throwback ba.

  10. Roxee Reyes says:

    PLDT vs GLOBE. And the winner is none other than… PLDT

  11. CHARLIE R. ALLOSO says:

    *** GLOBE WINNER OF SUBSCRIBERS:
    A.) NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS
    B.) DATA AVAILABILITY (((GA-YAYA LANG NG SMART))) PUTOL-PUTOL DATA CONNECTION NG SMART/SUN
    C.) DATA DOWNLOADS (((SMART PINA CHEAP magPASS THROUGH NG DATA kahit FREE FB/NON STOP CHAT sa SUN buti pa walang free fb/chat…. SUPER LOADING… buti pa free data ng GLOBE…IT WORKS kahit walang load….(((bullshit SMART))). Manloloko pa sa LOAD REVERSAL… after mag expire na daw yung promo e reverse pero HINDI na makita sa system,,, MANDARAYA!!! BULLSHIT…. BAKIT sa GLOBE e reverse nila while the promo is active!!! MANDARAYA TALAGA SMART!!! SUPER BULLSHIT NG SMART NETWORK!!!

  12. CHARLIE R. ALLOSO says:

    A

  13. Alex Torriver says:

    all i can say is I am definitely shifting from #GlobeNakawLoad this year to Smart. I have complained for a year the problem with my SIM that automatically gets load from my phone even if I am on PLDT wifi at home, even if i have checked a couple of times if there are apps accessing my date and NO, walang nag a-access. But the load keeps on disappearing (same case with that woman who complained and resulted to the senate hearing). And when I complain on globe’s twitter account, walang naitulong. I guess its time to make the shift to SMART.

  14. Paul Reyes says:

    I tried smart and globe sa phone ko. Dahil dual sim naman kahit parehong LTE sim gamit ko yung smart lang ang nagLTE while yung globe hanggang 4G lang. Kaya I agree mas maraming may gusto sa Smart. :)

  15. Robbie Anne Valentino says:

    Hindi porket madaming subscriber ang globe sila na ang may maganda serbisyo. Alam naman natin modus nila yung pagnanakaw ng load. ?

  16. Islacom Mobiline says:

    DUOPOLY we need a third player. Sigurado madaming lilipat. Remember dati dominant GLOBE sa SMS, tapos SMART open its doors to SMS, ang daming lumipat dahil sa palpak na service ng Globe. Tapos ngayon pareho silang palpak sa service ang bagal pa ng net at ang mahal.

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