Globe vs. Smart: Which had more mobile subscribers in 2020?

We checked all their published data for comparison

Continuing our yearly tradition, we tally up both Globe and Smart’s year-end data to check on which telco had more subscribers by the end of each year. Both telcos have already published their annual or Q4 quarterly reports, and we’ll find out which telco stands taller among the other.

We extracted mobile subscriber data from each of the respective companies’ Annual and/or Q4 2020 SEC filings. Here it is:

Globe TelecomPLDT Inc.
2020 Postpaid2,513,547Smart: 1,443,649Sun: 711,169
Total: 2,144,818
2020 PrepaidGlobe: 38,109,102TM: 36,022,918
Total: 74,132,020
Smart: 29,090,167TNT: 41,688,854Sun: 0
Total: 70,779,021
vs 201994,204,277(-19%)73,118,155
Sources: Globe, PLDT

Globe’s overall numbers took a lot of negatives across all segments, citing negative user acquisition caused by the imposition of community quarantines across the country. Postpaid acquisitions also declined 38%, while 99% of acquired SIMS on Globe’s side last year were from Globe Prepaid and TM.

PLDT’s prepaid segments, however, seem to be unfazed. Smart Prepaid posted a 12% increase from 2019, while TNT had 8% more subscribers. The loss of Sun Cellular prepaid subscribers in 2020 stemmed from the transfer they did last year. PLDT converted all Sun Prepaid subscribers into Smart Prepaid and thus allowing them to avail themselves of Smart’s prepaid promos as well. The Sun Postpaid subs are still retained as a different segment due to the different plans available but have significantly decreased by 23% from 2019.

PLDT also notes that they are considering prepaid subscribers if they have not reloaded in the past 90 days. “Our current policy is to recognize a prepaid subscriber as active only when the subscriber activates and uses the SIM card. A prepaid mobile subscriber is considered inactive if the subscriber does not reload within 90 days after the full usage or expiry of the last reload.”

Overall, Globe is still the leading telco in terms of the overall number of subscribers, in total prepaid, and in postpaid. PLDT, however, can brag about TNT getting the crown for the #1 prepaid telco brand in the country today. We’ll see if these numbers change this year as new players in the likes of GOMO and DITO, as well as more pushes from existing ones like Cherry Prepaid.

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Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].