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Sun cellular posts highest 1Q growthrate in TELCO industry


Mobile phone operator Sun Cellular raised its net servicerevenues by a robust 17.54% the first quarter of 2012, earning Php4.2B versus Php3.6Bfor the same period last year, the highest growth rate for any local telco thisyear.

Revenue from Sun Cellular’s postpaid segment in the firstquarter of 2012 grew by 20.91% compared to the same period last year. 2Gpostpaid subscribers at the end of March increased to 1.41 million, up 26% from1.12 million in the same period last year.

Sun Cellular President and Chief Executive Officer OrlandoVea attributed the company’s strong first quarter results to the encouraging consumerresponse to its service offers and the marked improvement of Sun’s networkcoverage powered by its synergy with parent company, PLDT.
“We wish to thank our subscribers for their support, and wewill be offering even better products and services to be offered to ensure thatthis momentum will be sustained,” he said.

Vea added that the company will continue to improve itsnetwork quality, particularly with regard to indoor signal strength andcapacity. Utilizing an all-IP network, Sun Cellular is deploying high-gain antennae as well as upgraded networkelements in its continued efforts to meet the growing demands for its postpaidand prepaid products and services.

Elaborating on Sun Cellular’s first quarter performance, ChiefOperating Officer Charles Lim pointed to the positive impact of newsubscriptions to higher plans such as the Plan 450 Call and Surf, and theintroduction of innovative new postpaid plans like the Plan 250 launched inselected areas in Luzon and Mindanao. 

“The timing of the launch of these new plans was great as itwas complemented by the stronger network that we now have,” Lim explains.
Plan 450 Call and Surf gives customers with smartphones allowsunlimited calling and texting within the Sun network plus 20 hours of freemobile internet access so they can maximize the use of their web-enableddevices.

Plan 250 is a special postpaid subscription plan forspecific regions. These plans, which are more affordable compared to mainstreamproduct offerings, entice would-be subscribers with the free handset that comeswith it.

Lim added that the prepaid market continues to be robust forSun Cellular as this segment grew by 10% percent in the first quarter toPhp2.2B compared with P2B for the same period last year.

“As our network improves, our subscribers are starting touse their lines more often. As a result, people are starting to load in higherdenominations such as our Text Unlimited 150 and 200. Also, the demand for ournewly-launched “TRIO”  bucket loads --which allow calling and texting among  Sun,Smart, and Talk and Text subscribers at affordable rates -- is picking up,” Limexplained.

He added that the firm’s wireless broadband business continuedto perform strongly, registering a 54% rise in net service revenues to Php487.1million for the first quarter this year.
“Our broadbandsubscriber base at the end of March climbed 54% for postpaid subscribers and73% for prepaid subscribers respectively compared with the same period lastyear. We are expecting these numbers to rise steadily given the market’s greaterdemand for mobility,” Lim said.

He added that Sun Cellular started offering SIM-only plansto cater to subscribers who want to use Sun Cellular’s broadband service intheir various gadgets, in anticipation of the continuing growing demand forbroadband access. 

When PLDT acquiredSun Cellular from the JG Summit group last year, it commited to continueoffering its signature  unlimited servicepackages. In addition, initiatives to integrate the PLDT, Smart and Sun networks are being pursued to support theseservice offerings.

“We would like tomake  sure that our existing andpotential subscribers are   able to takeadvantage of the synergies available within the PLDT group, and we are gladthat these are starting to pay off,” Lim concluded.

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