PLDT wireless firms add 2M prepaid subscribers in Q1

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The wireless brands under the PLDT Group added two million prepaid users in the first three months of 2013, or close to 170,000 new subscribers per week, the company said.

PLDT owns mobile firms Smart Communications, Talk ?N Text, and Sun Cellular.

Compared to the same period last year, PLDT said it added approximately 6.5 million new subscribers, pushing its total mobile prepaid base close to 70 million ? or 68 percent of the total prepaid market.

The carrier also reported leading the wireless category in terms of service revenues, earning total wireless revenues of P28.5 billion for the quarter ? with the lion?s share coming from its prepaid services.

?As these strong numbers show, the prepaid category remains encouraging. We will continue slicing and dicing the market and offer services that are tailor-fit to the different segments served by Smart, Talk ?N Text, and Sun,? said Orlando B. Vea, co-founder and chief wireless advisor of Smart.

The biggest gainer for the quarter is mass-market brand Talk ?N Text, which grew its subscriber base by 7 percent from the previous quarter and 38 percent versus the same period last year.

The sharp rise brought the total Talk ?N Text subscriber base to 30.6 million, increasing the brand?s market share to 30 percent. PLDT said this nearly twice the share of its direct competitor, which cornered only 16 percent of the market.

?The growth of Talk ?N Text is coming from increasing penetration across all regions, and exceptionally strong usage of various Talk ?N Text voice and SMS bucket offers that are higher in denomination and longer in duration,? said Jane J. Basas, head of prepaid marketing at Smart.

Talk ?N Text was also aggressive in rewarding subscriber loyalty, treating users to basketball games, concerts, and the like — defying the convention that value brands are supposed to offer bare-bones service.

Smart, Talk ?N Text, and Sun are also synergizing both sales and customer service resources for greater distribution, and expanding network footprint all the way to the most remote corners of the country.

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