Philippine Telecommunications Industry

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Before the 80s, owning a telephone line is like having one’s own Mercedes Benz. People use telephones as a sign of status in the society. When a person is lined, he/she is rich, an elite member of the community. During those times, only the privileged have phones. Many would apply for a phone line, and application process can take up to 5 years, only to find out they have been rejected. In the 80s, the market became more accommodating and new telephone companies made their industry debut. New lines began operating and franchises were allowed nationwide. In the early 90s, about 2 of every 10 Filipino families have landline phones, with most of the lines located in Metro Manila. Less than 1 out of 10 owns a mobile phone, then appearing like a smaller version of military radiophones, but still bulky in today's standards. Provinces still lag behind in the race during that time. The lack of telephone lines in provincial homes became a viable business for calling centers. They enjoyed these markets up to the first few years of the 21st century. And then a few years more, the cellphone age reached its peak. More carriers, lower fees, lesser restrictions, wider coverage. Even kids have their own phones now. Landline subscription started to decline as people become more mobile, wanting to bring with them their phones thus opting for a mobile phone than a stationary one. Because of the broad scope of Telecommunications, the group has decided to tackle only the mobile or wireless communications as the main topic. Currently, the market is dominated by the Big Three in the Wireless Telecom industry namely, Smart Telecommunications, Inc., Globe Telecom, Inc., and Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. or otherwise known as Sun Cellular.

History of the Telecommunications Companies in the Philippines * Smart Communications, Inc.
* Incorporated in 1991, Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) is currently leading the Philippines' wireless services catering to 44.1 million subscribers on its GSM network as of end of the 3rd quarter of year 2010. * SMART has built a reputation for innovation, having introduced world-first wireless data services, including mobile commerce services such as Smart Money, Smart Load and Smart Padala. SMART also offers 3G and HSPA services. Its Smart Link service provides communications to the global maritime industry. Smart Broadband, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, offers a wireless broadband service, Smart BRO, with 1.3 million subscribers as of end-September 2010. SMART is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Philippines' leading telecommunications carrier, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. * Globe Telecom, Inc.

* In 1928, Congress passed Act No. 3495 granting the Robert Dollar Company, a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of California, a franchise to operate wireless long distance message services in the Philippines. Subsequently, Congress passed Act No. 4150 in 1934 to transfer the franchise and privileges of the Robert Dollar Company to Globe Wireless Limited which was incorporated in the Philippines on 15 January 1935. * Globe Wireless Limited was later renamed as Globe-Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation (“Globe-Mackay”). Through Republic Act (“RA”) 4630 enacted in 1965 by Congress, its franchise was further expanded to allow it to operate international communications systems. Globe-Mackay was granted a new franchise in 1980 by Batasan Pambansa under Batas Pambansa 95. * In 1974, Globe-Mackay sold 60% of its stock to Ayala Corporation, local investors and its employees. It offered its shares to the public on 11 August 1975. In 1992, Globe-Mackay merged with Clavecilla Radio Corporation, a domestic telecommunications pioneer, to form GMCR, Inc. (“GMCR”). The merger gave GMCR the capability to provide all forms of...
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