Wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) reported growing its postpaid subscriber base by 24% — hitting a 10-year all-time high and outpacing the competition, which reported growing by 19%.
Smart added 133,000 new postpaid users in 2012, delivering the highest number of net postpaid additions of any year within the last 10 years.
The sharp rise in Smart’s postpaid subscribers helped push the total PLDT mobile postpaid base close to 2.3 million – or 57% of the total postpaid market.
Smart also reported a strong growth in revenues, posting a 16% increase in net service revenues from 2011 to 2012.
“We are rapidly growing our postpaid business by offering a well-balanced mix of innovative plans, attractive device offers, and a clearly superior network,” said Orlando B. Vea, co-founder and chief wireless advisor of Smart.
“Innovative plans make it possible for customers to enjoy the wide range of smartphones and tablets that we offer according to their preferred usage patterns. Smart’s super-charged network, backed by the country’s most extensive fiber optic network, delivers an experience that competition simply cannot match,” Vea said.
Smart launched last year a series of market-first postpaid offers, starting with the Freedom Plan, which lets users pay only for what they use or consume, without the fixed monthly fees and long lock-in periods.
At the other end of the price spectrum, Smart created an entry-level niche for those aspiring to subscribe to its premium brand, through the Infinity Plan 3500.
Its bestselling Unli Data, Unli 599 and 399, Unli Social 349, and the fully-customizable All-In Plans likewise pushed Smart’s postpaid subscriber base to spike, driven by the deluge of first-time postpaid users and switchers, in just the first nine months of 2012.
Smart was particularly aggressive in grabbing opportunities in the last quarter, fueled by strong smartphone sales and a solid push for activations across the country.
The telco launched almost back-to-back in December 2012 the country’s first LTE handsets and the iPhone 5 – eventually doubling its iPhone sales versus the same time last year, and ending a year of solid growth across its postpaid portfolio.
“At the core of this market transition are postpaid subscribers realizing the clear advantage and benefits that only a ‘supercharged’ network can reliably deliver — crystal-clear calls, on-time SMS delivery, and consistent mobile data connectivity,” adds Vea.
Building on the momentum of its postpaid business, Smart is set to put in place within the first half of the year other initiatives that are expected to drive further growth.
This includes the expansion of its sales and customer service resources for greater distribution, and the continuous enlargement of its network footprint all the way to the most remote corners of the country.
Smart’s total cellular subscriber base stood at close to 54 million as of end-2012.