Rather big news. PLDT, the telecoms giant owning mobile brands Smart, Talk ‘n Text, and Red Mobile required the majority of shares of Digitel, which in turn owns Sun Cellular in effect lessening the competition among telephone and mobile networks. It was announced earlier that it is acquiring 51.5% of shares amounting to PHP69.2 billion from Digitel Telecommunications Philippines Inc.
Digitel, owning Sun Cellular was the third largest telecoms network and have 16 million subscribers to date. Sun Cellular was the first mobile network to offer “unlimited” calls and sms in the Philippines, which made the other two giants Smart and Globe in chaos forcing them to offer “unlimited” services on a promotional basis.
This “merger” would be beneficial for both Sun and Smart. For Smart, they can use Sun’s fully rolled 3G services in the Philippines, and Sun can use the technologies of the former to further expand its services.
But with all of these, there are still drawbacks.
Some consumers are now at fear about the price wars. What would happen next? Will the unlimited sms and calls still be offered just the same before the merger?
Consumer “switchers” from Smart to Sun Cellular, will now realize they are back to their old network. Unhappy customers disgruntled about Smart’s broken services, choppy calls, delayed texts are now with no choice. Whatever consumers disliked on Smart, will possibly ruin Sun Cellular’s reputation.
This was an alleged “monopoly” some may say. Consumers of course can choose networks, but in reality its just “Smart” and “Globe” to select from. Its now Smart, Talk ‘n Text, Red Mobile, Sun Cellular versus Globe/TM, in case they dare to switch.
There’s an old saying that applies here: “If you cant beat them, join them”. 🙂