Thursday, February 29, 2024

Converge CEO: No need for mobile as more Pinoys get broadband

The head honcho of Converge said the company has no plans as yet to go into mobile since broadband subscriptions at home and in their offices are allowing Filipinos to just use over-the-top services such as Facebook Messenger and Viber instead of voice calls.

Dennis Anthony Uy, CEO and founder of fiber broadband player Converge, made the declaration during the company’s quarterly briefing on Thursday, Aug. 12, where it again reported record numbers in terms of growth.

Converge attempted to join the government’s third telco search in 2018 but ultimately backed out from the race, saying the selection process was “not a level playing field”.

But with the Covid-19 pandemic limiting the mobility of people, Uy said Filipinos are now just using messaging apps for their communication needs.

“There will be no need for voice as more Filipinos become broadband subscribers,” Uy told reporters. He said Converge is eyeing to have at least 1.6 million to 1.7 million broadband users by the end of 2021.  

The broadband operator said it ended the second half of the current year with 1,355,079 residential subscribers, 85% more than last year in another record quarter for the company.

The completion of the initial phases of Converge’s domestic subsea cable network in the VisMin region in 2Q2020 resulted in the activation of an end-to-end nationwide backbone reaching from northern Luzon to Mindanao, it added.

The company said it deployed a record 565,848 new fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) ports during the quarter, more than twice the number of FTTH ports deployed during the same quarter the previous year.

As of June 30, 2021, Converge’s nationwide network reached more than 8.3 million homes, on track to reach its target to cover approximately 55% of households in the Philippines by 2025.

With strong and continued subscriber take-up, consolidated revenues grew by 81.5% from P6,490 million in the first half of 2020 to P11,781 million this year.

Residential subscribers grew to 1,355,079 as of June 30, 2021 from 731,563 as of June 30, 2020. During 2Q2021, Converge said it captured 47% market share of fixed broadband net adds among the three largest broadband operators in the Philippines, representing an increase in fixed broadband market share from 21% in June 2020 to 29% in June 2021.

“Reflecting the high demand for fixed broadband connectivity services in the Philippines, we estimate that 95% of our new subscribers in 2Q2021 were first-time fixed broadband users,” the company stated.

Despite a larger proportion of subscribers as of June 2021 subscribed to its base plan compared to June 2020, Converge said there was an increase in demand for add-ons services and premium plans, specifically the higher capacity plans, 10-for-99 add-on, and Time-of-Day plans.

Converge said revenues from its enterprise business grew by 3.8% YoY. The launch of its SME product flexiBIZ earlier this year allowed the company to almost double its SME customer base in 2Q2021 from the same period last year, the company said.

“Our overall enterprise customer base increased from 10,498 unique customers as of June 30, 2020 to 17,539 as of June 30, 2021,” it noted.

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