Fiber broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions said it is making headway in Metro Manila’s low-income areas as it doubled its subscriber base for its fiber prepaid product (Surf2Sawa), quarter-on-quarter as of 1Q2023.
Converge launched on Friday, Aug. 4, its S2S prepaid fiber Internet product in Tondo, one of its top-served urban settlements. The community event was held at the Sandiwaan Center, just across Smokey Mountain.
Converge CEO and co-founder Dennis Anthony Uy noted that S2S is gaining ground in Metro Manila’s urban centers as it serves the connectivity needs of low-income families.
“In Metro Manila, we are elated to see S2S prepaid fiber Internet being the home broadband product of choice in dense communities in Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, and Taguig. This is a sign that these urban settlements are leveraging our pure fiber connectivity to augment their livelihood and answer their entertainment, social, and even financial needs,” noted Uy during the launch.
“We are glad to enrich the digital lives of these neighborhoods and in our own way, help their socioeconomic development.”
S2S was initially launched in November with a presence in over 400 cities and municipalities across the country. As of end March 2023, S2S subscribers nearly doubled quarter on quarter and on track to hit its goal of reaching 120,000 subscribers by year end.
As of end July, S2S is serving customers in 554 cities and municipalities from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
For 2023, Converge senior executive vice president and chief operations officer Jesus C. Romero said the company is aiming to open in new areas such as Kalinga and Occidental Mindoro, Visayas, including Negros Oriental and Leyte, and Mindanao provinces like Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Bukidnon.
Converge said it was able to strengthen its hold in key urban areas through a business model that recruited sales agents within the community as retailers, thus providing much needed livelihood opportunities in these neighborhoods.
Surf2Sawa is a prepaid fiber-to-the-home plan with various top-up options for as low as P50 load for one-day service up to P700 for a 30-day unlimited connectivity which is the most widely subscribed plan.
The modem limits concurrent users to only six devices, with an average speed of 25 Mbps.
With more than eight million ports deployed across the country as of March 2023, Converge said it is well-positioned to capitalize on the prepaid opportunity with its expansive digital infrastructure.
During the same event in Manila, Converge also announced its partnership with Sandiwaan Learning Center, a values-based non-profit organization established in Smokey Mountain in 1982 to help lift the quality of education in the community.
The center caters to almost 200 pre-school students and almost 100 out-of-school youths via the alternative learning system in the surrounding slum areas.
Converge, in coordination with Fr. Benigno Beltran, SVD in Paradise Heights, Tondo, cleaned and refurbished the Sandiwaan Center, as well as provided fiber broadband connectivity to the learning center.
Several Converge employee volunteers, led by the Workplace and Premises Management department, participated in cleaning up the center and even painted a wall mural.
“True to our mantra to leave no one behind, Converge sees these communities not just as service areas but places where we can contribute to socioeconomic development. We hope to empower these communities through technology,” said Converge vice president and head of corporate communications and public relations Jay-Anne Encarnado.
“We have tied in our corporate social responsibility program into our expansion plans so we reach the broader segment of the population who needs our services the most,” she added.
Converge also donated 20 learning tablets to students of the center to aid them in their online learning. The children and their parents were invited to a gathering at the center where Converge held a short program of fun and games to mark the powering up of the broadband Internet.
“We’re grateful for the assistance extended by Converge to refurbish the center and give a make-over to these classrooms. More than the aesthetics, what’s vital is the provision of the Internet and the digital devices, which will go a long way in helping the students cope with online learning,” said Fr. Beltran.