LOCAL information communications technology (ICT) provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. believes there’s still a lot of room for growth in the telecommunications sector.
“We are bullish on the business. If you look at it, broadband is still [at a] slow speed, primarily the digital subscriber line [DSL],” Converge ICT Solutions Inc. COO Jesus Romero said in an interview. “We think, especially with our pricing plan, the market is still big even if there is PLDT [Inc.] and Globe Telecom [Inc.].”
Romero said, on the sidelines of the launching of the firm’s newest products on May 17 that the company is pursuing its expansion in Metro Manila. Romero added the company plans to triple its subscriber base in the consumer segment this year. At present, Converge ICT has 100,000 subscribers, while corporate users number 2,800.
He noted the company is pursuing further expansion plans and continued strengthening of its fiber- optic network. At present, Converge already laid out more than 6,000 kilometers of its fiber-optic reach and is still growing, Romero said in Pasig City. We are already servicing clients from as far north as Baguio and further down south to Batangas, he added.
IN Metro Manila Converge ICT’s pure fiber-optic offering has already covered cities, such as Valenzuela, and Las Piñas and Muntinlupa, down south of the metropolis. It plans to further expand its reach by putting up networks in Nasugbu, Batangas, and even far north, such as San Fernando in La Union.
Since the company is still growing, Romero stressed it requires them lesser effort.
“Being a small company, it is easy to expand.”Romero said Converge ICT spent close to P1.5 billion last year in modernizing its information-technology platform and backbone network. Furthermore, he added the company hopes to complete the modernization program this year to prepare to push their expansion in the National Capital Region.
“We’re also looking for acquisitions, whether it is a telecom or a cable company. There are also ongoing discussions on acquiring possibly a medium-sized telecom company,” Romero said. “Converge ICT is also open to partner with anybody.” Eventually, fiber broadband offerings will soon be enjoyed nationwide, according to Converge ICT President and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy.
ROMERO said the company is addressing the perennial problem of Filipinos in dealing with slow Internet connection through a “best-of-breed” pure fiber-optic connectivity to power the Internet usage of home, micro, small-, medium- and large-scale enterprise users.
“With Converge ICT’s fiber broadband products, whether you are at home or at the office or your place of business, your Internet experience will surely be made better,” Uy was quoted in a statement as saying. “And the best part of it is that, it costs the same as your DSL connection, but made faster.”
To make them different from their competitors, Romero emphasized the company’s “no data cap” tack in Internet access will be a clincher to get a big number of subscribers.
“We thought, ‘What’s the use of having fast Internet connection if there is a limit to data access?’ With FiberX, there is no more data cap to Internet usage,” Romero explained. “We feel we will just be short-changing our customers if we put a limit to their Internet usage.”
Aside from bringing faster Internet to Filipinos, Romero said they will limit the existing difficulties customers experience when applying for an Internet connection.
“Part of the experience is to make sure that customers will not wait long to get connected,” he added. “We have made the application process simple, easy and fast. No more hassles, no more waiting.”
INITIALLY, FiberX is offered in three different plan types for a variety of home users relative to their Internet usage.
FiberX 1500 comes with a burstable speed of up to 25 Mbps, FiberX2500 at up to 50 Mbps, while FiberX 3500 offers connectivity of up to 100 Mbps. With pure end-to-end fiber technology that’s light-years better than traditional DSL, FiberX will surely enhance everyone’s online experience with better speed, larger bandwidth and consistent performance for either work or play. But for those who want even faster connectivity, there’s FiberXtreme that comes in burstable speeds of 300 Mbps and 500 Mbps, and priced competitively at P4,500 and P7,000, respectively.
For small and medium enterprises, we offer our iBIZ pure Fiber plan that allows businesses to operate faster and more efficient, with an Internet connection that has fewer interruptions and totally reliable, Romero said. Each iBIZ plan comes with free Webmail, free Web hosting and free Public IP, he added.
And for larger enterprises, Converge ICT offers Converge Enterprise, which comes with scalable Internet connection of up to 1 gigabytes per second (Gbps), an IP MPLS (Internet protocol multiprotocol label switching), disaster recovery, managed data-center services and other benefits for more efficient business operations.