Buoyed up by the continued expansion in its residential subscriber base and the strong performance of its enterprise segment, fixed broadband service provider Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. (Converge) turned in a consolidated revenues amounting to PhP24.5-billion during the first nine months of the year, reflecting a 30% stride compared with the PhP18.8-billion for the same period in 2021.
With residential subscriptions reported to grow 16% to reach 1.84-million subscribers as of end-September 2022, revenues from the company’s residential business perked up by 30%, from PhP16.4-billion to PhP21.4-billion during the same period. Gross additions in terms of subscriptions in Visayas and Mindanao (VisMin) improved significantly as the company continues its expansion in these key regions. As of the third quarter of 2022, 15.8% of gross additions came from VisMin, compared to only 5.0% registered in the second quarter of 2021.
The enterprise business segment, likewise, showed upward momentum with revenues increasing by 27% to PhP3.1-billion during the period, on the back of the support from SMEs, large enterprises and wholesale businesses which contributed to its growth. The SME segment continues to grow, reporting a 68% hike in revenue in the third quarter of 2022. As of end-September 2022, customers from the SME sector reached over 31,000, a growth of 77% compared with the same period in 2021. Large enterprise business also reported 17% growth in its revenues during the first half of the year while revenues from the wholesale segment increased by 52% as Converge increasingly monetize capacity on its domestic fiber network and international cables.
Supporting the improvement from both residential and enterprise businesses was the rollout of over 400,000 Fiber to the Home (FTTH) ports nationwide in the third quarter alone, making Converge as the country’s largest fiber infrastructure network with more than 7.6-million fiber ports at present. This has put Converge’s household coverage to 14.3-million, or 53% of total Philippine households, on track to achieve its accelerated target of 55% households in 2023.
Dennis Anthony Uy, Converge CEO, said they will remain focused in their mission to reach the unserved and underserved areas in the country despite challenges. This is the reason why Converge continues to pursue its expansion strategy, with its extensive infrastructure network now reaching 600,000 fiber kilometers.
“We are doing this because we believe that the Philippine market continues to be underserved. Even as more people go back to their offices, and classes are slowly going face-to-face, high-speed internet connectivity remains a vital need by Filipinos at home, said Uy.
Meanwhile, the company ended the third quarter of 2022 on the black, earning a net income after tax of PhP6.1-billion, reflecting an increase of 17% compared with the PhP5.2-billion net profit reported for the same period last year. The growth in profit was the result of the hike in enterprise revenue, reduction in network materials and supplies and other costs, and foreign exchange gains.
As a fiber network in the Philippines, Converge is committed to offer the fastest high-speed internet connectivity services. On November 11, 2022, Converge permanently increased speeds for its residential base plans for free. The FiberX Plan 1500 will double its speeds to 200Mbps. Similarly, existing and potential subscribers of higher priced plans will also experience speed boosts. A new FiberX Plan 2000 will be introduced to offer 400Mbps, FiberX Plan 2500’s speeds will also double from 300Mbps to 600Mbps, FiberX Plan 3500 will maintain its 800Mbps speeds, and a 1Gbps will be introduced as FiberX Plan 7499.
Converge designed its network with significant built-in capacity. This is the reason speed increases come without any need for incremental capital expenditures for the company.
Converge continues to value its customers by elevating customer services and accelerate service restoration after natural disasters. The company’s large-scale digitalization project aims to improve back-end efficiency through automation. This effort provides benefits that include streamlining product, and promotions management and customer-journey digitalization. New products and promotions can be easily created with reduced back-end manual intervention. Besides, the customer’s full journey from application, to installation, billing, and after-sales can be better managed digitally.
The company has also been implementing disaster preparedness activities given the number of typhoons that have and are still expected to hit the country. This aims to limit the impact of calamities on the company’s infrastructure to ensure minimal service disruption. It is also employing natural catastrophe and climate modeling to better understand potential risks and impacts of natural disasters and climate change, and how best prepare for them.