Sun Cellular gains more subscribers

Sun Cellular, the wireless brand of the Gokongwei Group's Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. posted a phenomenal growth in its revenues that easily eclipsed those of the two major telecom companies this year.

JG Summit Holdings Inc., the parent firm of Digitel, said its wireless business saw a 62.4 percent year-on-year growth in revenues in the first six months of the year. This was much faster than the 2 percent growth in Globe Telecom's consolidated service revenues amounting to P31.7 billion in the first half and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.'s revenues of P74 billion representing a 3 percent increase from a year ago.

Sun Cellular, which now boasts of 4,800 cell sites nationwide, has been investing $300 million annually for its network expansion since its was formed in 2003.

Sun Cellular accounted for 71 percent of the total revenues of Digital Telecommunications, whose combined consolidated service and nonservice revenues rose 35.9 percent to P6.69 billion in the first half of the year.

"The wireless communications business posted a remarkable 62.4 percent improvement in its operating revenues of P4.78 billion during the six-month period ended June 30, 2009 from P2.94 billion during the same period last year," JG Summit said in its financial report.

It said net service revenues, about 66.1 percent of which come from unlimited services, improved substantially by 61.4 percent against reported revenues of the same period last year.

"This is mainly attributable to the continued success of the unlimited service portfolio such as 24/7 Call & Text Unlimited and Text Unlimited and increase in subscriber count from the Group Plans and Plan 350 products," the group said.

However, JG Summit did not disclose their subscriber base during the period.  This is the reasy why Smart Communications and Globe Telecom denied that Sun Cellular has been eating into their subscriber base in the past two years.

But Sun Cellular said non-service revenues from the wireless communications segment grew by 238.8 percent, brought about by higher sales of SIM packs and phonekits.

"Furthermore, competitive SIM pack prices and new products launched at very affordable prices aggressively contributed to enlarged market share," it said, without citing any specific figure.

Despite substantial growth in Sun Cellular revenues, Digitel still declared a net loss of P638 million in the first semester, albeit much lower than P2.04 billion in losses it reported a year ago.

From Manila Standard Today

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