Gokongwei-led telecoms group Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc (Digitel) says it expects its mobile arm Sun Cellular will double its service revenues in 2009 and maybe even take first spot in the domestic post-paid segment. Digitel vice chairman, president and CEO James L Go told reporters: ‘We are expecting that our service revenues in Sun Cellular will incur a 100% growth year-on-year, exceeding 2008 growth of 82%.’ The company is pinning its hopes on a raft of new marketing initiatives such as its ‘unlimited’ call and texting features, and on the success of its ongoing network rollout programme.
Sun Cellular has amassed around 700,000 contract users, putting it in second place behind Globe Telecom which had 751,944 post-paid subscribers at the end of the first quarter, and Smart Communications with 407,464 in third. Mr Go says his firm intends to borrow USD200 million to help fund its USD300-USD350 million CAPEX programme for 2009, mainly for additional cell sites. ‘Currently, we have 4,603 cell sites and we are aiming to build 1,000 more for our 2G business and additional 300 to 500 sites for our 3G service,’ the CEO added. The cellco currently has coverage of 80% to 85% of the population or 90% of the market, and network capacity of 20 million subscribers. Sun Cellular currently has ten million subscribers, with an additional five million to six million subscribers expected to be added this year. Meanwhile, ‘SunBro’, the broadband segment of Sun Cellular, has reported ‘good customer feedback’ and is hoping to have signed up a total of 200,000 users by the end of the year.