Smart gains SIM share, narrows gap with rival after successful SIM registration campaign

Smart is poised to recapture mobile leadership.

Smart Communications registered 99% of its active subscribers as of June 2023, following the government-mandated SIM registration campaign that started in January 2023.

The SIM card registration act, which aimed to combat scams and spam messages, required all mobile users to register their SIM cards with their respective service providers or face deactivation.

According to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Smart was the only telco that hit the government’s initial target of 70%, reaching nearly 80% by the end of June 2023. Smart also increased its SIM share from 39.5% in December 2022 to 46.1% in June 2023.

This means that Smart has narrowed the gap in terms of market share and subscribers with its rival from over 20 million to just 1.2 million.

Smart attributed its success to its proactive efforts to educate and assist its customers in registering their SIMs, as well as its value-for-money offers that drove activations and retention. Smart also reported growth in average revenue per user (ARPU) among the active subscribers who registered their SIMs, and an actual increase in the number of new subscribers after the SIM registration deadline.

PLDT and Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio said that Smart is poised to keep its momentum and possibly recapture the leadership position in mobile subscribers as it continues to push for innovation and growth.

“It takes a while to gain ground and it is going to be a long, drawn-out battle. We will continue to push, to innovate and to look at growth areas. We cannot stand still, especially in the telco space,” Panlilio said.

Panlilio also emphasized Smart’s continued initiatives to improve its network as key to its growth, acknowledging that ultimately, consumers choose the better telco with the better network experience.

As of end-June 2023, Smart covered 97% of the population with its 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G networks. It is supported by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the country’s most extensive at over 1.1 million kilometers, including domestic and international fiber.

Smart’s support for SIM registration and continued enhancement of its mobile network is in line with the government’s intensified campaign to combat scam and spam messages and overall digitalization thrust, which aims to narrow the digital divide nationwide, and are part of the PLDT Group’s commitment as one of the founding members of the government-mandated Presidential Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) under the Digital Infrastructure Pillar.

It also bolsters PLDT’s aspirational multi-year transformation, elevating customer experience as one of the key priorities, as well as contributes to the Group’s endeavors to provide connectivity to all and to anchor initiatives on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly on SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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