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Sun Cellular scores highest Q1 gains in Phl telco industry

MANILA, Philippines -- Sun Cellular announced to have gained the highest growth rate among all telecommunication companies in the Philippines so far this year.

Sun reported that it registered a 17 percent growth in its net service revenues for the first quarter of 2012 of Php4.2 billion compared with Php3.6 billion for the same period last year.

Sun President and Chief Executive Officer Orlando Vea attributes the strong growth to the positive response of the market to the continued improvement of Sun’s network powered  by synergies with parent company, PLDT.

“We are elated by the market’s continued take-up of Sun’s services, and they can expect even better products and services to be offered to ensure that this momentum will be sustained,” Vea said.

Revenue from Sun Cellular’s postpaid segment in the first quarter of 2012 grew by 20 percent compared with the same period last year. 

Sun's 2G postpaid subscribers at the end of March increased to 1.41 million, up 26 percent from 1.12 million in the same period last year.  

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According to Sun Cellular’s Chief Operating Officer Charles Lim, this is largely because of new subscriptions to higher plans such as the Plan 450 Call and Surf, and the introduction of innovative new postpaid plans like the Plan 250 launched in selected areas in Luzon and Mindanao.  

“The timing of the launch of these new plans was great as it was complemented by the stronger network that we now have,” Lim said.

Plan 450 Call and Surf allows customers with smartphones unlimited calling and texting within the Sun network plus 20 hours of free mobile internet access. Yet the Plan 250 is a special postpaid subscription plan for specific regions. 

Lim explained the prepaid market continues to be robust for Sun Cellular as this segment grew by 10 percent in the first quarter or up to Php2.2 billion compared with Php2 billion for the same period last year. 

“Since our network has improved, our subscribers are starting to use their line more often. Consequently, people are starting to load in higher denominations such as our Text Unlimited 150 and 200. Also, our newly-launched 'TRIO'  bucket loads that allow calling and texting among Sun, Smart, and Talk and Text subscribers are picking-up in terms of demand” Lim said.

Lim also revealed that wireless broadband business continued to perform strongly, registering a 54 percent rise in net service revenues to Php487.1 million for the first quarter this year. 

“Our broadband subscriber base at the end of March climbed by 54 percent for postpaid subscribers and 73 percent for prepaid subscribers respectively compared with the same period last year. We are expecting these numbers to rise steadily given the market’s greater demand for mobility,” he said.

Lim added the company started offering SIM-only plans to cater to subscribers who want to use Sun Cellular’s broadband service in their various gadgets, in anticipation of the continuing growing demand for broadband access.

When PLDT acquired Sun Cellular from the JG Summit group last year, it made a commitment to continue offering the unlimited products and services that Sun Cellular has always been known for. Added to these are initiatives to integrate the PLDT, Smart and Sun networks are being pursued to support these service offerings.

“We would like to make  sure that our existing and potential subscribers are able to take advantage of the synergies available within the PLDT group, and we are very glad that these are starting to pay off,” Lim said.

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