After registering 99% of its active subscribers, PLDT Inc’s (PLDT) wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is poised to keep its momentum and possibly recapture the leadership position in mobile subscribers as the only provider to gain SIM share during the SIM Registration campaign.
Compared to end-2022, when Smart had 39.5% of all SIMs in the market, Smart ended the SIM registration campaign with 46.1% of SIMs.
“We are also the only telco that hit the Government’s initial target of 70% — reaching close to 80%,” said PLDT and Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio at the recent PLDT first half 2023 earnings media briefing.
Looking at the final SIM registration figures from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Smart has narrowed the gap in terms of market share and subscribers with its nearest competitor from over 20 million to just 1.2 million.
Among the active subscribers who registered their SIMs, Smart also noted growth in average revenue per user (ARPU). The company also noted an actual increase in the number of new subscribers after the SIM registration deadline. Smart said that it will continue to drive activations, as well as deliver more value-for-money offers in order to retain subscribers and drive ARPU further.
Smart also emphasized its continued initiatives to improve its network as key to its growth, acknowledging that ultimately, consumers choose the better telco with the better network experience.
“It takes a while to gain ground and it is going to be a long, drawn-out battle. We will continue to push, to innovate and to look at growth areas. We cannot stand still, especially in the telco space,” Panlilio said.
As of end-June 2023, Smart covered 97% of the population with its 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G networks. It is supported by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the country’s most extensive at over 1.1 million kilometers, including domestic and international fiber.
Smart’s support for SIM registration and continued enhancement of its mobile network are in line with the Government’s intensified campaign to combat scam and spam messages and overall digitalization thrust, which aims to narrow the digital divide nationwide, and are part of the PLDT Group’s commitment as one of the founding members of the government-mandated Presidential Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) under the Digital Infrastructure Pillar.
It also bolsters PLDT’s aspirational multi-year transformation, with elevating customer experience as one of the key priorities, as well as contributes to the Group’s endeavors to provide connectivity to all, and to anchor initiatives on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) particularly on SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.