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Merging Smart & Sun not good for consumers?




PLDT now has an overwhelming majority of the telco business in the Philippines — it owns Smart, Talk ‘N Text, Red Mobile and now Sun Cellular representing more than 70% of the subscriber base combined {see earlier story here}.

PLDT’s investment in Digitel (and effectively owning Sun Cellular) does not seem to make sense in terms of positioning. PLDT already has Smart as the premium network while Talk & Text is positioned at the other end of the prepaid spectrum (sachet economy). And then there’s Red Mobile which has only recently found a niche in the “unli” segment — obviously to counter Sun Cellular encroaching into its low-end subscriber base.

It is possible that despite PLDT’s heavy investment in Red Mobile, it still failed to prevent Sun from becoming a strong alternative (either as a secondary subscription or an “unli” vertical). This was evident when Sun was the first telco to actually hit the 1 million postpaid subscriber mark, way ahead of Globe and Smart. Granted, the ARPU with Sun Postpaid is way lower than Smart Postpaid subscriber, the fact still remains that on the low-end segment, Sun is growing very fast.

Here’s a rough breakdown of subscribers* by brand in 2010:

Globe Telecom – 14.4 million (up from 13.8 million in 2009)
Touch Mobile – 11.8 million (up from 9.3 million in 2009)

Sun Cellular – 16 million (up from 10 million in 2009)

Smart – 25.7 million (up from 24.2 million in 2009)
Talk ‘N Text – 19 million (up from 17 million in 2009)
Red Mobile – 950,000

The new combined subs of PLDT, if we are to include Sun Cellular, is now 61.7 million or 70% of the 87.9 million total (active SIMs, not unique subscribers). That’s not counting the over 400,000 Digitel broadband subscribers that will be added to PLDT’s 2 million subs.

In my recent discussion with a Sun Cellular executive, I mentioned that their role in the 3-way contest (Smart, Globe & Sun) is very crucial to the market and despite some of their shortcomings, consumers are happy Sun is doing a good job in competing with the big guys. They’re essentially the equalizer and a disruptor at the same time — making sure that rivals Smart and Globe are not locked into a perpetual stalemate.

I must admit that PLDT’s move to buy majority share of Digitel is a really smart one (no pun intended). First, if Sun continues to woo in the low-end market away from Smart/TNT/Red/Globe/TM, PLDT still wins. Second, Smart can learn a lot from the subscriber data that Sun has and could use it to strengthen its offers to postpaid subscribers. Third, PLDT can now utilize the additional frequency and the network that Digitel has rolled out across the country (Sun Cellular’s 3G network has nationwide roll-out already). Fourth, this will put Globe Telecom at a very odd position on just so many levels (so who’s gonna be the undisputed No. 1 on postpaid now?).

The only disadvantage I can see here is that Red Mobile can no longer throw punches at Sun Cellular with those hard-hitting TV commercials.

However, I don’t think there will be a consolidation of subscribers (merging Sun & Smart in the process). Sun will remain Sun, just like how PLDT separated Red Mobile and Talk ‘N Text for segmentation. The move is more like neutralizing the competition before it becomes more rabid.

So how does Smart and Sun Cellular becoming sister-companies be detrimental to the consumers at large? Well, here are some possible scenarios:

  • Say goodbye to the price wars (though not really entirely gone). From being a 3-way contest, it’s now down to 2 — PLDT vs. Globe. Smart, TNT, Red Mobile and Sun Cellular will hold an overwhelming 70% share while Globe is reduced to the remaining 30%.
  • Switchers no more. Subscribers who switched from Smart to Sun Cellular might feel slighted because they’re now technically back to the Smart network they left behind.
  • Smart’s weakness is now Sun’s disability. By association, whatever reason people didn’t like with the Smart network will infect the reputation of Sun’s network.
  • One less choice to make. That’s pretty much self-explanatory.

On the other hand, there are also benefits to this merger in some form or another.

  • Wider network coverage for existing Sun subscribers, especially with 3G mobile internet.
  • Smart can increase its network capacity if it is able to use Sun’s assigned frequency (same way Smart expanded with the purchase of CURE’s 3G frequency). That could translate to a less congested network and improved wireless connectivity (I hope).

Here’s a thought though — with the very saturated mobile market in the Philippines, I noticed that growth in subscriber base for Smart and Globe have slowed down significantly in the past couple of years except for Sun Cellular which posted an unprecedented growth of about 60%.

The only other way to get new subs is to poach them from other networks so the saying that “if you can’t beat them, buy them” makes perfect sense here. This move will effectively pad PLDT’s over-all growth by year’s end and that’s going to do wonders with the stock prices (and making their shareholders happy).

Update: PLDT and Digitel stock prices both went up today.

*ARPU – average revenue per user
*Subscribers = active SIM cards



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

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122 Responses

  1. nameless says:

    The same reason why Jollibee Foods Corp bought Mang Inasal… :D

    If you can’t beat the enemy, then join them…

  2. For Sun’s shortcomings, they were what ABC 5 is to television right now– they kept the Big 2 on their toes.

    I hope another telco can take the spot Sun used to have.

  3. Glenn Ong says:

    This is a great summary, Abe. I guess we’re not expecting rates to go lower any time soon, since only two giant networks are competing.

    But I’d say I still go for Globe anytime of the day

  4. arj says:

    smart monopoly?

    • mindyq says:

      if you recall your high school economics, a monopoly means one supplier or provider of a product or service. obviously there’s still Globe Telecom around, albeit only controlling around 30% of the telecommunications market.

    • mattrosuelo says:

      monopoly?

      Stupid reaction. Mag-re-react ka lang, mali pa.

    • Robin says:

      Not a monopoly, but imagine what mobile phone plans and rates would have been like without Sun Cellular…

      We might have to start expecting higher rates…

    • KennyV says:

      I believe duopoly is the right term :)

  5. Str4nded says:

    “Smart’s weakness is now Sun’s disability. By association, whatever reason people don’t like with the Smart network will infect the reputation of Sun’s network.”

    – Specifically on the wireless broadband

  6. MRU says:

    This will finally give Smart access to the Ayala malls since from the start, Ayala malls have always blocked Smart from setting-up pico cell sites inside Ayala malls. But since the Gokongwei’s had their own malls, Ayala malls had to give access to Sun, so that Globe could have access to Gokongwei malls. In the end, though, the only winner here are the Gokongwei’s!

  7. metal1369 says:

    business is business, but the government specifically the NTC should be vigilant in monitoring the future moves of this 2 companies.

  8. Raymond says:

    everything is about control, but that is alright if in the end, the consumers benefit sooner and not just the pockets of the shareholders. Public Service is of paramount importance…

  9. Jhay says:

    That’s why we need tougher antitrust laws now.

  10. Paul says:

    Here’s hoping Smart/Sun starts getting the iPhone too

    No use in them being the largest network if they don’t have the smartphone I want

    • mattrosuelo says:

      Oh yes, it’s all about you, isn’t it?

      E ano ngayon kung wala yung smartphone mo sa Smart? Useless na siya because wala dun yung iyong phone choice?

      Apple wins if it gets both Globe AND Smart. Remember, it has just recently outed the VeriZone iPhone.

    • Eason says:

      Sir Yuga a post if Smart will release iPhone too, to make it short its too expensive.

      Plus Globe is majority owned by Singtel which is the carrier that sells iphone in Singapore. So you get the idea.

      Plus, why not just get an Iphone that is openline and get an SIM ONLY plan?

  11. Jon says:

    What if Smart/PLDT decides to raise prices or do something customer unfriendly? Where else would people go? That’s the problem with monopolies. Consumers are always at a loss. There is not much options to choose from. Now expect things to become stagnant, if not worse.

    Pressure is on Globe to improve their services and coverage. Prices even. They should see this as a chance. Though they must have a lot of funding though.

    • mattrosuelo says:

      Isa ka pang nag-react ng monopoly.

      Nag-aral ka ba? Alam mo ba kung ano ang monopoly?

      Ano ba ang Globe? Hindi ba sya competition?

    • Jon says:

      To answer your question, yes. Of course I did, and as evidenced by my manners. If you understood the context of my comment, then you would have not replied that way. The term “monopoly” was used figuratively, FYI.

      I very well know the meaning of “monopoly”, 70 percent is huge, and having only 30 percent, Globe is literally dwarfed, and almost irrelevant, if you look at the stats. Hence I used my use of the term.

    • mary says:

      I have to agree with you Jon. I understand the use of the word, although lawyers and some commenters who take the word at face-value might flame you.

      Anything that increases Smart’s market dominance is NOT a good thing for the customers. Sun’s infrastructure might not have been that good, but they made up for it with great customer service (compared to Smart – who neglected to disconnect our broadband immediately AND charged us for it).

      I hope Globe is up to the challenge.

    • Jon says:

      Yeah, Sun Cellular back then was the game changer. Without them, we probably wouldn’t have unlimited services. Too bad they sold out. I did use Sun back when I was in college. It was very cheap and worked reasonably, as long as you have coverage. Too bad lately lang nag-improve signal coverage nila, when I ditched them for Globe.

      As far as I know, Globe is doing well (before the merge), especially with their postpaid offerings. I suggest that Globe should really take care of their current subscriber base first by improving services and offers, before attempting to expand or whatever.

    • Lex Amisa says:

      Totally agree with you and Jon, PLDT is one of the worst companies in terms of customer service. Yes, they have better resources than Sun (or even Globe) but it doesn’t mean they should neglect their customers. And like what Jon said, 70% will give Smart/PLDT superb advantage over their sole competition.

  12. mindyq says:

    There is no monopoly in the telecom industry. Some of you guys should know what that word actually means.

    What Does Monopoly Mean?
    A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. By definition, monopoly is characterized by an absence of competition, which often results in high prices and inferior products.
    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/monopoly.asp

    With the definition above there’s no monopoly. There is still Globe. San Miguel MAY put up its own mobile phone network.

    • angela says:

      Hey smartypants, yes there’s no monopoly in the telco industry YET, but that’s what PLDT is trying to do.

      Remember when PLDT tried to offer and buy BayanTel (main competitor of PLDT in the landline, wireless landline and DSL sectors) way back in 2005, 2 times? When PLDT acquired PILTEL WOLFPAC and CURE?

      There are obvious things you can’t deny. Telecommunication here in the Philippines is one of the most crucial businesses you can invest on. I’m not saying that the Pangilinans are greedy. But them trying to monopolize the industry gives people lesser options, as well as other competitors being flexible to their services (which I think they are trying to do, anyway).

      I just hope we had anti-trust laws to regulate these kinds of anti-competition moves.

    • mattrosuelo says:

      Isa ka pang smartpants.

      YET? Bakit? Ikaw ba may-ari ng Globe at ibebenta mo Globe sa PLDT?

      Question for you: Do you think it would be wise for Globe to sell it’s company to PLDT?

      Boba ka din pala e.

    • nameless says:

      in our case, kahit sabihin natin walang monopoly, pero, magiging oligopoly pa din.. at sila sila magkakampihan for their own common gains… parang yung three big oil companies dito.. parang laging may agreement sa prices, kaya ganun pa din. nasisira pa din ang prinsipyo ng perfect competition…

    • kyoujin says:

      Bakit? Ikaw din ba ang nagmamay-ari ng Globe at Smart? Pabaya-an mo magsalita ang mga tao dito. Bakit sa ‘yo ba to ang blog na ‘to? Hindi mo lang alam ang mga hell experiences nga mga tao na eto sa Smart “Stupid” ’cause I cannot see some sense in using the word “smart” while their service sucks!!!

    • David Z says:

      Kung magbebenta si Globe at makukuha ni Smart, that’s their call kahit anong tingin natin.

      At tingin ko, hindi po kailangang tawaging bobo ang mga taong hindi sang-ayon sa iyong isip.

    • Teknisyan says:

      controlling 70% of the market is not monopoly?

  13. Alex says:

    I’d agree. If you can’t beat them, buy them. Merger like this is inevitable as competition grows.

  14. arj says:

    then it’s a telcos domination

  15. B says:

    San Miguel already has Liberty (Wi-Tribe).

  16. imitator101 says:

    I think the biggest worry (already voiced by some here) is Sun adopting policies/promos of Smart which really suck.

    As a broadband user of Sun, I’m worried that Smart’s VERY BAD policies on data throttling and data caps will be implemented on Sun’s network.

    Smart Bro is THE WORST and I’d hate to see that happening to Sun.

  17. nameless says:

    I’d say, they are just all the same…

  18. allan says:

    i just hope that sun will keep & continue it’s cheap promos. they’re easy on the pocket.
    i hope smart will introduce better post paid plans like globe.
    globe has more post paid subs coz of their better plans compared to smart.
    also, better phones.
    i also hope that there will be unli text & calls between smart & sun in the future.

  19. So Abe, did you invest in either DGTL or TEL?

    market hasnt closed but DGTL opened at 1.59 and dipped to 1.54.. currently trading at 1.56

    TEL opened at 2,300.00 low of 2,500 and high of 2,380.00 trading at 2,358.00 as of 11:38am

  20. John Carl says:

    Nice move for MVP. But I still stick to Globe. I wonder why most of my friends, acquaintances, and company reps are on Globe, but Smart says it still has the most number of subscribers.

    • luiboowee says:

      Smart totally dominated the provincial market and far-flung areas not covered by Globe, especially controlled by the NPAs. While Globe doesn’t pay ‘revolutionary taxes’, PLDT/Smart is willing to pay the price for them to be able to put up and maintain cell sites in these critical areas. Kaya kung mapapansin mo, mas malakas ang signal ng Smart sa provinces (outside the cities) than Globe. If you have relatives in the provinces, chances are they are Smart subscribers.

  21. luiboowee says:

    Mawawala ang unli, that’s what’s going to happen in the future.

    Globe and PLDT will talk any moment to control prices. Bucket pricing will continue while totally scrapping unlimited calls/texts.

    Parang ang mangyayari is babalik tayo sa pre-Sun era. Since Ramon Ang is a rival of MVP, probably RSA will take this opportunity to let SMC’s Wi-Tribe as a replacement luring the anti-Smart, anti-Globe market.

  22. Les says:

    Huwag lang nila paki-alaman ang pricing schemes ng Sun. Yun lang!

  23. diaslag says:

    It reminds me of the game, Monopoly.

    Watch out for the changes, I hope it’s for the better.

  24. JunAlquis says:

    guys I read in the news that PLDT wants to keep Sun and digitel as it is to keep the competitiveness a PLDT officer himself said so. I guess it was one of their agreements for the selling of Digitel

  25. Aria says:

    Yuck, Sun will now be as dysfunctional as Smart. And vice versa. They can combine their services but they still can’t deliver. Kebs.

    Globe parin. Now, more than ever.

  26. Globe! says:

    Go Globe! One month to go and im free from Smart’s poor service

  27. Koko says:

    All I can say to Digitel employees are: It’s time to update your resume.

    I’ve worked for both Smart and Digitel, the diffrence of company culture between the two are as different as night and day. Heads will roll, I tell ya.

  28. juan i. jacques says:

    its sad to find out that sun was bought by PLDT. say byebye to cheap txt and call. sun was innovative a game changer, remember the days when txt was .50 to 1.00 then sun came and change the mobile industry landscape with its unli call & txt. RIP Sun Cellular

  29. Reuben says:

    Sun Cell may be merged with Smart’s signal coverage, which is good for consumers. Though unli promo’s will suffer.

  30. mattrosuelo says:

    “Switchers no more. Subscribers who switched from Smart to Sun Cellular might feel slighted because they’re now technically back to the Smart network they left behind.”

    — Before the merger, Sun Cellular, however good or bad, is continuously operating as it is.

    So what if a person switches from Smart to Sun? Would the whole SUN network cease to operate and would that mean every SUN subscriber will immediately utilize Smart network? That’s impossible.

    I don’t get your argument on that, Sir Abe.

  31. raymond says:

    Hello. Hindi naman po siguro tamang sabihin na “bad for consumers” ang merger ng Sun at Smart. Ang concern lang po naming mga consumers ay makakuha ng mas magandang serbisyo sa mas mababang presyo. Kung nagbabasa po tayo ng dyaryo:

    1. Hindi aalisin ang unlimited call and text ng Sun.
    2. Mapapakinabangan nila ang malawak na cellular network infrastructure ng Smart.

    Bilang isang Sun subscriber, natutuwa po ako sa merger na ito dahil sa wakas ay makaka call and text na ako sa iba’t ibang probinsya ng Pilipinas. Mga lugar na dating mahina ang Sun. In the future, baka magkaroon pa ng unlimited call and text ang Sun-Smart. Panalo di ba? :)

    • Jon says:

      Yun nga eh, masama kasi iisang brand/company na lang ang dominant. Oo, pwedeng maging maganda ang merge for both Sun and Smart users, but what about Globe users?

    • raymond says:

      Kung happy naman po kayo sa serbisyo ng Globe, wala tayong magiging problema. Kung hindi, time to switch. :)

    • Jon says:

      True, but di naman yun yung point ko. Di na kasi healthy competition yung 70 percent share na yun. So more or less, pwedeng pwede mag dictate ng price ng services ang Smart, kung ano ma-tripan nila, since mas malaki sila at mas madaming pera. Wala halos magagawa Globe nyan. Sana di bumigay si Globe sa pressure ni Smart.

    • raymond says:

      Bilang isang consumer, hindi po importante sa akin yung mga ganung stats. Problema na po ng mga companies kung paano palakihin kanilang market share. Mas importante sa akin ang makakuha ng value for money. Wala po kayong dapat ipangamba kung magtataas ng presyo ang Smart/Sun kung Globe naman ang gamit niyo. Sa amin naman po, kung sakaling mangyari yon, napakadaling bumili at magpalit ng Globe sim card.

  32. Rey says:

    ok, wala nang choices. Hahahah, I agree “duopoly”.

  33. milanaorly says:

    i heard on ANC na Globe will be with San Miguel, na wi-tribe ang sakanila

  34. ralph says:

    sana pwd na mg cross connect ang sun at smart. unli ng sun makakatawag sa smart

  35. Jayson Moy says:

    Nice move by MVP and wise decision by Gokongwei group. Imagine Gokongwei instantly owning 12% of PLDT that will substantially dilute shareholdings of NTT DoCoMo and First Pacific.

    Bilang prepaid retailer since electronic loading started, pansin namin ang growth ng Sun Cellular. Lumakas na ang signal. Sa bahay ng lola ko sa SJDM, Bulacan, Sun Broadband lang ang KAISA-ISANG may HSDPA 3.5G signal. Ang SMART at GLOBE ay EDGE lang.

    Marami na ring nagpapaload ng Sun at mabili ang SIM card. Sulit din ang kanilang IDD call to US and Canada at 2 pesos per minute!

    Ngayon ngang nangyari na ang hindi ko inaasahan, kailangang lumaban ng Globe upang hindi tuluyang mawala ang market share nito. Pero hindi ko nakikitang mawawala ang Globe dahil marami na rin naman itong suki at sana patuloy na mag-improve ang kanilang service dahil sa mga MALALAKING PAGBABAGO sa telecom industry – the “DUOPOLY” (Ooops…wag ng pag-awayan ang monopoly at duopoly – kaya hindi umuunlad ang Pilipinas…malaking apoy, pinalalaki. To correct others, you may say it POLITELY.)

    I hope na hindi pabayaan ng SMART ang DIGITEL at SUN CELLULAR. Sana ay lalo pang mag-improve ang services ng Sun given the VERY STRONG parent – SMART.

    Maybe SMART will use SUN to cater the so-called “PRACTICAL” segment of the market as part of their 2011 plans. Each SMART subscriber will have a SUN number as secondary number…promoting multiple SIM ownership (and consumer load usage)

  36. vicman says:

    I don’t think PLDT will eventually change the characteristics that made SUN successful. How can they be sure na mapupunta sa SMART yun mga subscribers ng SUN kapag nawala yun characteristics ng SUN? They will still keep SUN intact and eventually improve it. Pera pera lang naman usapan dyan. It’s not about the glory of PLDT.

    • Jon says:

      Yep, but I do wonder. Would the physical network be interconnected like it were one? Worried kasi ako kung kakayanin ng network ng Smart ang combined traffic ng Smart and Sun. Kung sa Smart nga lang dati, ang bagal bagal na.

  37. sana me unlimited call pa rin sana di mawala.alam naman natin sa ating bansa na pag customer service medyo di satisfied tayo niyan mga madlang pipol. ang hihina pa ng mga internet speed sana wala ng 384bps sana poro 1 mbps pataas na sana alisin nayang 384 kbps 512 kbps 768 kbps.misleading pa naman sa mga consumer ang mga promo nila nakakalito minsan di pa makapasok.hahays sa US walang ganyan na serbisyo satisfied lahat ng consumers dun.

  38. someone says:

    sana mawala na yung mga text scams / nag-ooffer ng kung anuano through text. (mlm invites, loans, etc)

  39. Sonofa says:

    SAAN NA SI MANONG JOHNNY??

    hindi lang naman sa sun cellular yung reason… sa province mas sikat ang digitel at globelines kaysa sa pldt… at kailangan ng pldt yun para masmura na tumawag ng landine ang mga subscribers nila sa provinces…

  40. chintoguy says:

    I agree with the another reader that there should be a 3rd player. The reason why I subscribed to Sun is because they completely changed everything. Now for those who hates PLDT and switched to Sun its like they are going back to their old telecom provider. I hope that NTC could approve the license to operate a cellular network on BAYANTEL. Bayantel nalang ang nakikita kong potential telecom who will be the new 3rd player.

  41. chintoguy says:

    I hope San Miguel Corporations telecom arm LIBERTY TELECOM (who operates internet service provider Wi-Tribe)could also be the new 3rd player. As far as I know, Liberty is also applying for frequency allotments sa NTC and has plans of entering the cellular service market. We need a THIRD PLAYER. I never liked PLDT before. Thank God there is still GLOBE.

  42. ben kisla says:

    business as usual…heads will roll definitely towards the end of the year, mostly the upper management of Digitel & SUN…to effectively reach PLDT’s combined profit with Digitel, they need to streamline their OPEX….but you will see better services from both giant telcos….

    • chinitoguy says:

      Howcome lugi ang Sun e ang laki laki ng growth nila sa network? For the past 2 years napaka-laki ng kinikita ng Sun.

  43. WORLD TODAY says:

    Three Filipinos Executed In China, Families In Tears

    Chinese authorities have gone through with the controversial execution of three Filipinos. They had been convicted of smuggling drugs into China. Their families were devastated by the news.

    http://pinoy99.blogspot.com/2011/03/three-filipinos-executed-in-china.html

  44. Joel says:

    These deal is indeed good for the industry and the companies since they found a way to stifle price wars and increase their revenues but that is absolutely NOT good for consumers. They killed one player for no other reason than to make more money.

    http://joelolave.blogspot.com/2011/03/merging-of-telecom-companies-boon-or.html

  45. agrimensor says:

    “I noticed that growth in subscriber base for Smart and Globe have slowed down significantly in the past couple of years except for Sun Cellular which posted an unprecedented growth of about 60%.”

    IMO this is the main reason why Smart bought Sun since they could no longer steal away a subscriber from them and they are actually being eaten.

  46. milanaorly says:

    sana pinanindigan pa rin ng digitel/sun ung company nila para healthy ung competition..

  47. althea says:

    in the end, its still the consumers who will choose and suffer.
    i speak from experience, and as of today I’d still stick with globe, although I have a sun sim as back up and our landline and dsl at home is pldt
    hahahaha

  48. MR. BOGUS says:

    ONE WORD FOR ME: KARTEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. koki_motok says:

    can we cancel our subscriptions as early as now without penalties? im not in favor with this.. wish i could have been loyal to globe, if not only for their poor loyalty rewards system..

  50. deuts says:

    Obviously, inunahan na ng Smart ang Globe from acquiring Sun, following the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T in the US.

  51. Monopoly in the making? Hope not.

  52. csseyah says:

    Not Enough energy… need more SUN..

  53. kyoujin says:

    This is indeed a monopoly. I have a friend that once a subdealer of smart and then it goes to a one person in the end. Smaller business combined as one is equals to monopoly. Smart is an evil telecoms that I can really prove. They does not include subscriber’s interest (although they claimed it publicly) but their interest is only monopoly and handling people as their slaves. I don’t patronize smart. For all smart users, don’t be fool for many contacts using their network. You know it’s about quality of service.

    Now we have no Sun, we only have one good telecom, that is, Globe. From phone to internet service Smart is just like waste of money, time, energy but in globe you felt like you are important (not saying that globe is perfect) and treated like a customer as I am comparing to smart that they treated me as cash-cow in their scam-like internet service. To all Smart users, you will be the same as me if you suffered the same hell experience with Smart “Stupid”, I called their service Smartbro as Stupidbro ’cause I cannot see the sense of saying they’re smart.

    • Jayson Moy says:

      Smart’s service is very good. I am enjoying the use of their Talk ‘N Text brand. I am a retailer since Smart started. Earnings from SmartLoad helped me financially to finish College and help my parents. They don’t handle people as slaves – they were giving up to 22 months (as far as I know) salary for regular employees. Maybe what you’re saying is the “outsourcing” which is the current trend. I believe it’s too harsh to call Smart an ‘EVIL’ telecommunications company.

      When you’re using their service, you need to pay of course. They also offered products and services that is good for consumers.

      Their broadband service, although not the best but better compared to Sun and Globe (in our respective location). Downloading in Sun is 5kbps while in Smart it’s better at 45kbps.

      Calls in Smart is not choppy, it’s crystal clear with a very good coverage.

      Smart started the retailing of load that gave about a million retailers alternative income opportunities.

      Sun is good. I am enjoying it too.

      I am using Globe for my broadband since it’s the fastest in our area while for others, Sun is faster in their location compared to other telcos.

      What’s the problem with their internet service? You should file a complaint if you think you’re unjustly treated.

      By the way, in Globe – it’s very hard to register in their promos…and that’s false advertising.

    • kyoujin says:

      That’s for your case. I cannot blame you praising their name here. But you cannot blame me why I called them “evil” ’cause they deserves it. I have many reasons. They just make us as malfunctioned ATM machine. What does it mean? They just randomly stole our precious loads. You just said that smart is good, just in your place. I am a traveler and working from place to place and I can see that smartbro sucks, you cannot expect they will give you 3G/HSDPA signal while Sun and Globe has on most area I have been. How about saying you that I have 0-1kbps downloading speed? While Sun has 30kbps and globe has 145kbps? Now tell me which service is better. This is NOT only in one place. I traveled and stayed on many places and worked from apartment to apartment and seen that smartbro sucks everywhere. Even you have full signal for their 3G/HSDPA their speed is lying, giving you slower than dial-up speed, worse it was not stable! I am paying them 1500/month (2 years lock-in period) for this kind of crappy thing but give me dial-up speed most of the time. Now tell me if you can still praise them if you are me. For more than a year now I have 0 of 10 ratings, if there is a negative I will rate them -10, why? cause they just gave me headache struggling with their service PLUS 1500/month is a big for this crappy smartbro.

      Yes of course I will pay for what it takes but will I be paying them IF they gave me what I needed? (“upto 2MBPS” but gave us 30kbps? I believe there is a great difference there as you can see) but they just wasted my hard-earned money. I know globe is not perfect just as I said but are you convince they are faster than stupidbro? But when you need their great service they will give you what you wanted considering some factors that you can register to their service during peak hours, try early in the morning.. Smartbro is always dial-up speed. This is NOT what I am paying for and the contract we signed for!

      Finally, when filing complaint makes me rich I am very rich now, I complaint a thousand times (just a figure of speech for many many times) but guess what? They just leave my complaint pending and not informing me about the current status. If I will not emailed them, they will just forget you as a smoke. I have full of complaint but no action so far for more than a year now. Their Wireless Center is as useless as their call representatives, they are just recorded audio talking more and more the same thing but no action to resolve the problem.

      Now tell me if you can question me why I called them “Evil”. I respect your case but in the community of my friends they are just like “Evil” getting our hard-earned money but does not giving us what they supposed to give us. Their contract is obviously one-sided. Being a smartbro subscriber is the most regrettable moment of my decision. Smart simply sucks!!!

    • Jayson Moy says:

      That’s your experience. Iba-iba tayo ng experience with SMART :-)

      But on my experience, SMART immediately responded to my concerns on slow broadband via *1888. I have 1 mbps connections at night while more than 600kbps acceptable browsing during the day. Download speeds are acceptable at 45kbps to 125 at night. While on call, the technical support representative can determine what causes speed problems – if congested or not. If you’re using the USB modem, maybe it is not configured properly or malfunctioning. I was able to get considerable speeds using SMART in Mandaluyong, Makati, and Novaliches after TWEAKING my modem.

      SMART has WCDMA 1900/2100 (observed as so slow) and 850mhz (that’s so fast). I just checked my modem settings and suprised that it was set to WCDMA1900. I tried to switch it to 850 – I have 3.5G HSDPA signal, until now, it’s faster.

      Have you checked your PC? Were you able to exhaust all your effort to improve the connection? I reformatted my PC and saw great improvements. I also bought a USB modem extension.

      Torrent in Sun (5 bars)- no speed to 5kbps
      (Fair Usage Policy)

      Torrent in Smart (3 bars) – 45kbps up
      Torrent in Globe – (2 bars) 45kbps up

      For Sun, I cancelled my postpaid plan since it’s so slow (in our location) but decided to retain a prepaid broadband SIM in my grandma’s home since SUN is the only network that offers 3.5G in their area that’s FAST. I also openlined the Sun modem and placed SMART instead or SUN when needed.

      For Globe, their broadband network sucks for about a year, connection switching from HSDPA to WCDMA and a page never loaded at all…until last November, the coverage improved and that’s great. Now I’m using Globe.

      We never experienced VANISHING LOADs in our four SMART SIMs. Since we are not REPLYING to those push promotions. Their instructions are clear on how to turn those things OFF. There’s no such thing as AUTOMATIC REGISTRATION. Our customers usually seek my help just to turn those registrations off in an instant! When we inquire, they replied to those messages to get the INITIAL FREE content without reading the terms and condition then forget about it in week 1, week 2, and week 3.

      Kasi bilang retailer, nakakainis din minsan yung mga nagpapaload, naloadan mo naman ng 15 tapos sasabihin, hindi dumating yung load. Paano, nakaregister pala sila sa RINGTONE, LOGO…tapos pag tinanong mo, nagreply sila, nakuha yung content, tapos nakalimutan na nila na may terms and conditions…so weekly kakaltasan na kasi subscribed na…so kami naman ginagawan namin ng paraan to help them how to turn those things off as advised by SMART Customer Care.

    • kyoujin says:

      Smart call? Crystal clear? but you near to impossible to connect when registering to their unlicalls. And that is not PURELY unlimited ’cause there is only a specific time you can use their term “unlicall”.

      Giving retailers an alternative income? But why they disconnect my friend’s subdealer business sim (and his other companion) and gave to one person? Is that a fair treatment and giving many individuals to have their own small business just like the thing they done to Sun? A smaller company and then merging into one. Didn’t you seen their business strategy? Healthy competition makes a good business but they don’t like competition they wanted to dominate the market and that is close to monopoly… But it’s good there is still Globe that gives people an option.

      Remember what happened to PLDT when globelines/islacom takes place? The very very expensive international call of PLDT was broken by the competition of globelines to them. Now, they are oblige to exercise a healthy competition NOT monopolizing the market of telephone.

    • Jayson Moy says:

      Sa aking palagay

      We are happy with the UnliCalls of SMART…I admit sometimes it’s hard to connect. You have to dial more than 5 times. But the SMART network was not designed to be an ‘UNLIMITED’ network just the way Sun configured their network. Remember SUN during their early years —> as the king of dropped calls, unsuccessful calls, choppy calls, and alike, but now, they’re better.

      According to Globe, they need to invest more to make their network a truly UNLIMITED network. SUN’s UNLI is embedded on their plans, they designed their network for such services. For SMART and GLOBE, not originally designed as such since they were the pioneer telcos with older infrastructure. SUN was able to get it at lower cost since a latecomer.

      Ang nakakainis sa Globe, may unli nga, hindi ka naman makaregister so mapipilitan kang tumawag gamit ang tawag 236! — 20 minute one time call for only 20 pesos. PERO kapag naputol ang tawag (empty batt, nagdrop ang signal), the remaining minutes will be GONE! Sa SMART, consumable!

      Maybe SMART will utilize the ‘ESTABLISHED’ unlimited network of SUN that can handle simultaneous calls without putting up a new one.

      Their other CALL PROMOS are with ACCEPTABLE QUALITY.

      Regarding SUB-DEALER. May quota sila. Baka hindi nila na-reach ang quota kaya tinanggalan sila ng subdealership rights. (I don’t know) or maybe may bagong policy ang SMART na kung kunyari Caloocan ka, you need to load Caloocan retailers only, bawal mag-load sa mga Quezon City retailers dahil ibang subdealers ang may hawak sa kanila.

      Nauna rito ang GLOBE —- kung saan ka bumili ng SIM, dun ka lang puwedeng magpaload ng pambenta.

      GLOBE is here to stay and PLDT cannot make their call rates too high kasi WISE na ang subscribers ngayon. Marami ng mapagpipilian. Kalaban pa nila ang Facebook at Twitter ngayon.

      By the way, I am not an employee of SMART or pakawala ng SMART…I’m just sharing my experiences maganda at hindi maganda. I’m glad kasi nasasabi natin ang ating mga opinyon sa space na ito. Thanks sa Yugatech.

    • kyoujin says:

      I am not interested in whatever unlimited they offer especially call. Don’t use it ’cause I don’t patronize telecoms that sucks. I am only interested in internet, if there is no internet issue then keep that issue safe ’cause I am not unto it.

      I am not a fun of globe and sun but I am smart-hater so I wanted to choose other telecoms than smart/pldt. In your experience is applicable on case to case scenario but in overall? You cannot expect people will say the same to you. There is no good telecoms here on Philippines. All of them are almost the same, there is a saying “If you have no choice left, choose the lesser evil”, so for me smart is the most evil and I choose the lesser evil.

      You are saying that you are not a smart employee but you are more than an employee you are their endorser. We will not agree to the same thing. You use smart whatever you like, endorse it but we will always here saying that product sucks. Honest to goodness they really are sucks, you will not admit it here.. I hope you will not say these words (not actual word same-like) in the future “it sucks” “wasted” “makes me a cash-cow”, etc. One day, you will come to a point of realizing what kind of telecom you are patronizing with. Good luck! It’s you and this is me.

    • hopya monngo says:

      i agree with kyoujin in the arguments presented… well i guess it depends on the location on how we rate the telcos. in my case smart and sun has poor Bro services and pldt landline bundle with myD often are not connected kahit may technical support ng pumupunta sa bahay namin. so far i am happy with globe’s services like iphone plan, tattoo (which has great signal from our place); wimax that can reach even the mountainous area of my parents. with these i can say that Globe Tel. really is my way. dati globe landline long longdistance na agad siya kahit neighbor mo lang yung pldt landline pero ngayon area code base na din sila so 2 phone lines kami ngayon

    • Steph says:

      I was a Smart subscriber before, but I really hated the service. It took me forever to get my needs addressed. Was super pissed, so I moved to Globe. Though Globe’s not perfect, their services are better than Smart’s.

    • dane says:

      my primay phone – SUN
      my secondary phone – globe dati, kaso nagnanakaw ng load kaya lipat ako s smart.
      my secondary phone today – SMART

      that’s all guyzzzz!!!!

    • John says:

      Absolutely correct ….

  54. Jayson Moy says:

    Sun will remain as is.
    Globe and Smart has both 900mhz and 1800mhz for their 2G services while Sun has only 1800mhz that covering a smaller area making it’s calls choppy. So I hope Smart will share to Sun its 1800mhz frequency (the same thing they did to Cure – they shared the 900mhz) giving Red Mobile a nationwide coverage.

    My projection is that Smart will keep itself as the “PREMIUM” network while it will boost SUN as GLOBE’s competitor by offering more attractive plans where SUN is very successful. SUN was the first telco to reach 1 million postpaid subscriptions. If they change SUN’s business model, it may take away existing and potential subscribers and SMART Group cannot afford to let them switch to GLOBE with their competitive postpaid plans.

    Remember, Sun was the very first telco to offer 1-day unlimited broadband for only 50 pesos. It was followed by SMART with 200 (one-time) valid for 5 days and eventually GLOBE followed with SUPERSURF50.

    Ang sabi, they will continue the offers of SUN. Nakapagtataka kasing napakabilis nakapag-deploy ng nationwide broadband ng SUN. Meaning, tipid ang ginagamit nilang technology from Huawei ng China. So maybe nakita nilang FUTURE-PROOF ang network ng SUN and they will capitalize on it.

    • Jayson Moy says:

      Correction: *have both 900mhz…

    • supernaut says:

      SUN/Digitel is the first big client of Huawei pero ngayon madami na ring project ang HUAWEI sa smart,globe,pldt and bayantel.

    • supernaut says:

      SUN/Digitel is the first big project of Huawei sa Pinas at ngayon madami na ring project sa smart,globe,pldt and bayantel.

    • I guess my take on this one is that Smart would focus more in the ‘broadband side’ rather than being ‘competitive’ in terms of unlimited calls, postpaid plans, etc.

    • dane says:

      i think you are an engineer!!!!

      the way you address your opinion are more on technical point of view. SUN needs the 900 MHz band in coverage area but for capacity it is 1800 MHz. Sana i-share ni smart itong 900 MHz para s ganun wala n ung magsasabi ng “mahina ang signal ng sun”. As fas as I know ang mangyayari dito is they will share towers meaning kung saan wala pang signal si sun colocate n lng s tower ni smart at vice versa but for existing so be it. BTW the ratio of one 900MHz cellsite is equivalent to four 1800Mhz cellsites. In here, we can conclude that SUN cellular have hard time catching the two giant network thats why selected areas lang ang may coverage. With the help of SMART hopefully this will change. This is not a burden to SUN subscriber but a blessing to consider.

  55. That shows that SMART was very smart, although I don’t go for SMART. http://learner-spot.blogspot.com/

    • kyoujin says:

      I think the right term for smart is not smart. They’re clever or cunning.. pwede na rin deceit.

  56. ralph says:

    sana may unli calls na rin from smart to sun and vice versa

  57. poche says:

    malabo alisin yun ilang services or competitive pricing ng sun kasi nga uupo as board of director pa din ang jgsummit(digitel/sun) at take note may 12.8% shares na sila sa buong pldt group so may say or power pa din sila.

    although technically e parang binili ng pldt ang digitel e parang merger or nagpaabsorb lang sila since walang kahit ni singkong duling ang ginastos ng pldt para dito.

  58. frozenpyro says:

    Let’s see what will happen to SUN in a year or 2, then I will decide kung papaputol ko na ang 6 years postpaid plan ko sa kanila…

  59. arj says:

    what will be the best network to use if it will be smart, tnt, red and sun vs globe and tm? halos dominated na ng smart ang lahat ng telcos

    • supernaut says:

      Products and services pati customer services mas maganda at quality ang Globe. Lalo na sa post paid, maayos pa ang billing.

    • arj says:

      i have globe yet still observing it’s performance. dati akong globe user pero sa dami ng smart contacts ko e napilitan ako magswitch. may mga areas pa kasi na mahina ang signal ang globe lalo na ang sun

  60. adam says:

    Meron din naman advantage pag nag merge ang Sun and Smart and that is ang SUN can now provide a better service like mas madami cellsite and mas malinaw ang calls. Pero tingin ko yun lang ang advantage ng makukuha ng sun.

    • arj says:

      although the news says, sun will still continue their services. perhaps signal will be one of an advantage. it’s the call and text that will be altered sooner or later

  61. Name: says:

    Bad for consumers and employees! Look what happened to those companies bought by Mr. Pangilinan.

    BTW:
    Abe Olandres – Defender of Willie Revillame? http://goo.gl/mP0ja
    Yugatech fans: What’s your take?

  62. David Z says:

    Update from Smart mismo:

    http://www.pldt.com.ph/media/Pages/PLDT%20to%20maintain%20Sun%20Cellular%20unli%20services.aspx

    Some quarters had raised concerns that PLDT’s investment into Digitel would lead to the end of Sun’s unli offers.

    “That’s not going to happen. There is a market for unli services and we intend to be the best in serving that market,” Nazareno said.

    So…I guess we can put this to rest?

  63. David Z says:

    And as been said before, this isn’t a monopoly…yet. It feels like one, but it’s not…yet.

    And correction from earlier: update from PLDT yan, hindi Smart. Anyway, you get the idea.

  64. SUN is getting SMARTER or SMART is getting SUNNIER?

  65. justme says:

    Sana sa merge nilang yan, maging 3G na ang buong pilipinas para broadband kahit saan. di kasi magamit yong plug it eh lalo na dito sa province. andaming bumili pero di naman magamit kasi GPRS lang ang signal. Para NATIONWIDEST coverage talaga. Naku, dito sa davao, kahit main city or capital city of mindanao, parang isang baryo lang ang 3g area. Hehe

  66. Fritz says:

    well apparently kaya binenta ng mga gokongwei ang digitel is because of low market value meaning sa stocks puro negative ang shares nila. smart, sun and globe coz of the unlimited wars. but the time they sold it bigla tumaas ung value nila sa stocks! and ang laki ng utang ng mga gokongwei. and right now. wi-tribe which is owned by san miguel corp. is planning to enter the market as well.

  67. watusi says:

    bayantel pwede bang maging cellular provider?

  68. Jericho says:

    We use those services to our leisure activities, to know what is happening in the world, to communicate with our friends, and especially to call our families abroad. We cannot afford to have a no-choice or locked in on a limited set of service products.

  69. mike says:

    this is a good move to both companies just hope that the unli services would not be cut out as we all now how the smart does it dirty tactics on us…and for globe i suggest do the things that made sun become popular make the unli services lik the SUN not compete toe to toe against smart if you want to make it..in the end people wil realize where they can save more!…

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