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

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.

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

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35 Responses

  1. eric says:

    couldn’t agree more! that’s why customer service sucks in our country. it should be providing total value to customer by delivering what they have promised!

  2. Lezuric says:

    they all just fail their promises.. =P

  3. nexusboy says:

    consumers also look into “VALUE FOR MONEY”. why pay 1,200 for internet when another firm can give the same service for much less?

  4. yuga says:

    @nexusboy – value for money is relative. it assumes that competitors offer same quality of service.

  5. arj says:

    let’s see what lte can do for a while in the meantime or we’ll end up with unsatisfactory services again and end up complaining

  6. deuts says:

    That’s we need more competition, as it’ll surely drive innovation.

  7. wharkuz says:

    Very well said, especially the “capping”

  8. Jun says:

    ang bagal talaga ng technology sa aten in terms of Internet speed.. sobrang mahal pa.. what i did in my 6 yrs pldt subscription is downgrade from plan 1995 to plan 999.. which i save 1k.. then I subscribe to smartbro plan 999 sim only.. tapos lagay ko sa E5.. minsan nga mas malaki pa bandwith na nakukuha ko sa smartbro.. but service still fuck up.. csr at support.. parang plaka lang kung mag reply..

  9. What’s the point of rolling out new technologies especially that 4G (LTE) when all the issues in the current infrastructure (3G / 3.5G) hasn’t been resolved?!?

    Andyan nga ang technology, pinagmamayabang pa ng mga telco, di naman nagagamit ng maayos!?!

    Fix the current issues bago nyo atupagin ang unahan sa pag implement ng new technology!!!

  10. Faust says:

    i really dont like the idea corporations bullying the consumers with their anti-competitive practices ie: high bandwidth costs, service disruptions, speed reliability.

  11. That is the privileged of having much money.

  12. JAYB says:

    haha. . . patama sa SMART LTE

  13. Calvin says:

    ^ not just Smart LTE… HSPS+ din ng Globe. Actually ung naglalabasang 4G network. is that suppose to free up space sa 3G network since some subscribers will shift? don’t think so.

  14. tfcnow01 says:

    kahit ano pang sabihin natin, hindi mangyayari yung sitwasyon na kung ano binayarang mong serbisyo eh makukuha mo, umasa pa kayo, sino man ang first or better, isa lang ang objective, kumita, magising na kayo at matagal nang nangyayari to at di na magbabago, meron at meron pa ring malulugi at di makukuha ang tamang serbisyo sa perang pinaghirapan

  15. gabriel says:

    @tfcnow01 tama ka bro. i apply globe broadband for 1mbps and always complaint kc always disconnected all the time at sobrang bagal at sabi nila 400mbps is a passing speed at sabi ko bakit 400 lang sobrang baba naman at sbi nila 60% of 1mpbs daw ang passing speed nagtaka ako how comes na 60% of 1mbps is 400 sabi nila nigative daw sila, so ung 400 ang 60% ng 1mbps nila ang galing nila sa math

  16. Pia says:

    Napaka biased talaga nitong blogger na to, porket sponsored nila ang blog mo? Globe mentioned you on their tweet, saying they had LTE first. Then you made this post.

    You’re not too obvious, aren’t you? You can eat all MVP’s crap.

  17. Pia says:

    Napaka biased talaga nitong blogger na to, porket sponsored nila ang blog mo? Globe mentioned you on their tweet, saying they had LTE first. Then you made this post.

    You’re not too obvious, aren’t you? You can eat all MVP’s money.

  18. nakkabobongGlobeWmax says:

    got connected with Globe wimax last november, first few days ok, the next week, wala na pag daytime, called CSR, ayos ayos dyan here there, sisi here there, porket yung signal galing daw sa ibang network chuchu promises promises, naka limang balik ang technician, no improvements, come decision time, disconnect mo na sir, sir ayaw mo mag shift sa globelines or else may penalty ka? ha? ok lang disconnect mo nalang, wala pa nga globelines dito offer offer ka na, ha? sino nagsabi sir? e yung globe business ctr nyo mismo, ag ganun ba sir? let me check your area, meron sir, neknek mo! wala pa ngang naka globelines dito sa probinsya namin! sus ganyan ka disorganized CSR nila hindi lang service, Smart? same banana

  19. @gabriel ganyan din ang sagot sa akin dati sa PLDT. Wala lang talagang choice kaya ayun grab lang.

  20. bill says:


  21. simplynice93 says:

    Tama si sir abe! I never experience any disconnections in my Sun broadband before. But, after PLDT brought Sun, my broadband internet gets disconnected ALL THE TIME. I blame PLDT for affecting Sun’s broadband services. Bumabalik na tayo sa era na monopoly ng PLDT ang communication natin…BAGAL NG SERVICE HABANG LUMALAKI ANG BULSA.

    • Is this true? nako naman kung ganun ang mangyayari na papangit ang service ng Sun wala na ako mapapagpilian.

    • Brand says:

      Another example is we used have internet connection via an ISP Prime Communication, great internet service, fast and reliable, excellent customer service. Then PLDT took over, outages happens like 3 to 4 times a month, then customer service is virtually gone.

  22. yeahmen says:

    Sana may batas na kapag hindi na meet ang promised speed may penalty sila, something like that… Sobra ngayon e, lugi ka na nga sa service, ang bibilis pa mag bill… champion diba… FUUUUUUUUUU

  23. tech84 says:

    True, its not about who’s first in this kind of business, its about who made it better for the end-users.

    The one with the better service will always win at the end.

  24. Teknisyan says:

    When I read the title, Apple comes to mind. :) Just look at what they did to the media-player, smartphone and tablet market!

    They’re not the first but they did it better!!!

  25. richie says:

    I hope di ako off-topic pero dahil nga telcos ang pinaguusapan, banggitin ko na rin ang sistema ng mga telcos sa pinas compared sa mga telcos dito sa saudi.
    Sa pinas, pag expired na ang load mo, wala na talaga. As in zero na. Dito sa Saudi, pag expired na load mo, di ka na makatext o makatawag. Pero pag mag load ka ulit, credited pa rin yung unused balance mo after expiration.
    Sana ganito rin sa Pinas. Ang yayaman na nga ng mga telcos.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

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

  29. Bon 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..

  30. 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.

  31. Richmond Nuguid 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!!!!!!

  32. 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

  33. 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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