Thursday, February 29, 2024

Fiber broadband firm comes out of shell, gears up for PH expansion

Converge ICT, a fiber-optic connection service provider, is ready to do battle in the lucrative broadband market and is now building up its presence all over Luzon and soon in Visayas and Mindanao.

Converge ICT founder and CEO Dennis Uy
Converge ICT founder and CEO Dennis Uy

The company, founded by Pampagueno tech entrepreneur Dennis Uy, held in first press briefing on Friday, Oct. 14, at the Legend Restaurant in Pasay City after years of staying out of the limelight and just relying on word-of-mouth to get subscribers.

Although it provides broadband service and holds a congressional franchise, Converge ICT is not a telephone company and does not offer telecommunications services, whether landline or mobile.

To lead its all-out charge, the company has tapped a former top executive of Globe Telecom, Jesus ?Boboy? Romero, as its chief operating officer. Prior to his move to Converge ICT, Romero held the same position at call center systems integrator DTSI Group.

At the press event, Romero said that unlike the big telco firms, Converge ICT has the flexibility and nimbleness of a start-up, but with ultra-fast fiber connectivity.

?Most notably, our broadband Internet offering has no data caps, so our subscribers can fully utilize the package that they subscribed to,? said Romero.

For his part, Uy said there is still a huge opportunity for growth for the company as he noted that the percentage of fiber-connected homes in Philippines is very low compared to other countries. ?Only about 300,000 out of 20 million homes are connected via fiber right now in the Philippines,? he said.

In contrast, fiber-connected homes in Indonesia and Malaysia have higher penetration rates at about 30 percent and 40 percent, respectively, he said.

This is the reason, Uy said, why the company is allocating P2.2 billion capital expenditure for expansion this year. Converge ICT, he said, has been growing at an average of 35 percent over the last few years. Last year, it raked in close to P2 billion and is eyeing P2.7 billion in revenues this year.

Although it competes with industry giants PLDT and Globe Telecom, Uy said Converge ICT is also a partner of both telcos since it gets international backhaul link from them.

Asked if that arrangement could compromise its service to clients, Uy said its main connection hub is located in Hong Kong which neither of the telcos have access to.

Romero also noted that the two data centers of Converge ICT in Clark and Pasig City are connected to all Internet exchanges in the country, including the government?s PHOpenIX or the Philippine Open Internet Exchange.

Converge ICT chief operating officer Jesus "Boboy" Romero
Converge ICT chief operating officer Jesus “Boboy” Romero

The company said it uses pure fiber technology that utilizes fiber-optic cables that are composed of thin strands of fiber optics that are lightweight, durable, non-flammable, and non-corrosive.

?Thus, it is also less prone to downtimes and interruptions as they do not break easily, do not conduct electricity, and can be submerged in water. One fiber can stretch up to several kilometers and is capable of transmitting 100Gbps,? it said.

The broadband delivers symmetrical connection among its subscribers, allowing them to enjoy high-speed and equal download and upload links.

Converge ICT has rolled out thousands of kilometers of fiber-optic cables beneath the ground using the latest micro-trenching technology. But the company offers a variety of services fit for home use, with internet speed that runs as fast as 100 Mbps.

From its original home base in Central Luzon, the company has now expanded to Metro Manila and South Luzon. Next up are Visayas and Mindanao.


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