This little-known ISP is challenging the duopoly

This little-known ISP is challenging the duopoly

When we talk about internet service providers in the Philippines, most people would only be able to tell you there are only two players – PLDT and Globe. There are actually quite a number of service providers but the disadvantage is that they’re not as pervasive or dominant as the two.

Most cable TV providers are also offering broadband internet and there are also some regional or provincial players, especially in areas where there’s smaller population.

PLDT and Globe heavily dominate this industry because of their vast network, resources and wireless footprint for last-mile access.

In recent years, though, the competition has shifted to super-fast fiber internet. Globe has declared this is their new frontier after finally winning the mobile internet space and PLDT has also made it their top-most concern this year.

So the race to connect as many homes to the fiber network has begun. Metro Manila is, of course, the first ones to get fiber starting with the posh subdivisions and newly built condominiums, all the way to some of the major cities outside of the capital (Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro).

The general sentiment is good, with an overwhelming majority of fiber internet subscribers really experiencing first-world broadband connections. That’s IF your area is covered.

Another concern is the growing trend to cap the data allocation of the users. Just take a look at the fiber internet plans of Globe:

Globe Fiber:
Plan 1599: 15Mbps (150GB Cap)
Plan 1899: 50Mbps (300GB Cap)
Plan 2499: 100Mbps (1TB Cap)
Plan 4499: 200Mbps (1.5TB Cap)
Plan 6999: 500Mbps (3TB Cap)
Plan 9499: 1Gbps (6TB Cap)

All of its fiber internet plans are capped, starting with a meager 150GB a month to 6GB for a 1Gbps connection. It’s like selling someone a Ferrari but asking them to only consume one full tank of gas every month.

PLDT Home Fibr:
Plan 1699: 15Mbps (150GB Cap)
Plan 1899: 20Mbps (No Data Cap)
Plan 1899: 50Mbps (300GB Cap)
Plan 2899: 50Mbps (No Data Cap))
Plan 6000: 200Mbps (No Data Cap)


* PLDT only offers these broadband speeds on their website.

What’s disconcerting is that PLDT has followed in the footsteps of Globe. They’ve also started offering fiber internet plans with data caps (though some of the speed plans still have unlimited data).

One thing that you will notice is that the ISP will give you faster internet speeds for the same price but will put a cap on it (see PLDT Plan 1899 at 20Mbps unlimited or 50Mbps at 300GB cap).

The two big players definitely needed a viable competitor. A new player that will set the tone and disrupt this trend.

Enter Converge ICT, a fairly new player in Metro Manila but have slowly made its way to key areas to be noticeable and pose a threat to the existing competition.

Here’s what they’re offering:

Converge FIBER Xtreme:
Fiber X 1500: 25Mbps (No Data Cap)
Fiber X 2500: 50Mbps (No Data Cap)
Fiber X 3500: 100Mbps (No Data Cap)
Fiber X 4500: 300Mbps (No Data Cap)
Fiber X 7000: 500Mbps (No Data Cap)

Two things that you will notice right away – they have the cheapest fiber internet plan at Php1,500 a month for 25Mbps, and they offer “No Data Caps”.

When you put these subscription plans beside that of PLDT and Globe, it will be very obvious who offers the best plan. Well, at least on paper.

For now, the threat is not that big or imminent. Converge’s fiber network footprint is still very small compared to the bigger two. And given a number of resources and capitalization, that won’t change anytime soon.

What’s more important at the moment is the perception, the messaging that Converge is putting out there. That if a small but growing ISP can offer fast fiber internet at a very affordable price and without data caps, why can’t the big players do the same? Well, we already know the answer why.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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20 Responses

  1. JD Obedoza says:

    Yes. Seems a good enough deal. Though some of the PLDT and Globe plan comes with landline subscription. Correct me if I’m wrong on this.

  2. Raphiduz says:

    Hi Sir Abe. Please include also per Telco the CIR (Committed Information Rate) per subscriber. 25Mbps is already fast, but what’s the catch? Does 25 Mbps is the speed of the internet if he is only the subscriber of the said plan in that area? What will happen if there are already 1000 subscribers with the same plan in the same community? Subscribers should be aware of the plan that they are getting into. Thank you.

  3. Eexx says:

    Here we are again, the “competition mantra” at work. More of it brings down the price, more efficient. Wait until PLDT or Globe buys out Converge. Who owns those companies anyway? Be reminded of our energy system, water, oil, etc. Never happened. In fact the opposite, it went roof high! Private business is driven by profit. Public utilities must be public-owned, thus the name “public”. Renationalization is key.

  4. K L says:

    SUS bale wala lahat yan kung limitado ang coverage… wala ring papupuntahan, DIGITEL/SUN lang ang nag disrupt ng market dati wala na sumonod na matapang…

  5. Kunsel says:

    PLDT 1,899 with 20 Mbps has a landline. So it’s still cheaper? 1500 25 Mbps plus stand alone landline will cost more than 2k.

  6. zSuicideSheep says:

    “It’s like selling someone a Ferrari but asking them to only consume one full tank of gas every month.”

    sounds like inaway niyo ang promoter niyo lmao.

    baka halintulad lang ito sa sun/digitel remember they introduced unli texts for 10php and unli calls for 25? sus! wait lang po sa announcement 5 years from now na they sold to pldc.

  7. Jojo says:

    To my opinion, I can see that Converge is providing a no data cap to lure customers…sooner or later they will have a data cap just like the 2 giant telcos. Another scenario is that either PLDT or Globe might buy out Converge in the near future!

  8. teokun says:

    wow puro pldt/globe agents defending their lousy products posting here….ffs no ones gonna be foolder by ur posts

  9. archie says:

    I’m sure nakaisip na ang big boys ng paraan para mapatay ang converge. Remember what happened to wi-tribe?

  10. ConvergeSME says:

    Converge business plan user here. Mayroon silang issue regarding Request Time Out sa gateway nila na hindi ma fix. Usually nangyayari yan every 5 or 10 minutes, kung nag oonline games kayo, stay away.

    Madalas din na mabagal un palabas ng pinas. Meaning hindi mo nakukuha un full speed kapag sa labas ka ng pinas nag coconnect. Feeling ko hindi sapat un available bandwidth nila palabas.

  11. thats just the way it is says:

    PLDT is just chilling right now. The moment they feel Covverge is already posing a viable threat to their business most likely they’ll buy off this company just to shut it down.

    DUOPOLY restored.

    • 123 says:

      Dennis Uy would never sell converge. In fact madami na ang capital na nilabas niya jan dati Angeles City lang ang converge ngayon meron na din sya sa bataan, subic, Rizal, Bulacan, Tarlac, batangas and some part of metro manila ata.. currently they are still installing lines of fiber optics and they are planning to install it upto Bicol Region.. He is really trying to step in to the game of the two giants.

    • WISP Man says:

      Yes… I personally met Dennis Uy and I knew he won’t sell Converge. Maangas at mayabang iyon .
      When he said he will push for it, he will do it. He already invested so much just to give it up.

  12. Bennet says:

    I like that there’s another carrier competing, but the writer left out so many details. The unlimited plans for PLDT bundles a phone line, and the published bandwidths are burst rates not CIR (writer should have researched on this as this is important to subscribers). Another important item is the coverage area – even PLDT and Globe have very limited area of coverage for their fiber plans – knowing their coverage area is important for subscribers to know if Converge is a possible option.

  13. Max says:

    Converge ICT is Angeles City-based, and we Angeleños are subscribed to it, there is limited globe and PLDT presence here :)

  14. Arnold San Juan Polagñe says:

    Sana makarating na man sila { Converge } dito sa amin sa Naga City Bicol para maka kuha naman kami ng mura at walang data cap.

  15. Ryan says:

    Available ba to sa palawan?

  16. Arnold Sj. polagñe says:

    Salamat at nandito na rin si Converge sa Naga City Bicol,Sept. 2018 marami na rin nakabitan ng Fiber nila .. Ang available speed ay 25 mbps @P1,500 no capping…yong higher speed ay next year meron na !
    Wait lang po ako dito sa Subdivision namin pag nag roll out na sila dito sabi next month January 2019.

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