Sun Cellular to expand under Smart, will it retain unli products?

Tech people were greeted by news this morning that leading telecommunications company Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) has acquired 51.55% shares in Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (Digitel). It was a share swap deal that enables Digitel's parent JG Summit to get a 12.8%-stake in PLDT.

Digitel owns Sun Cellular, the 3rd largest telco player in the country after PLDT and Globe Telecom.

Once the acquisition is complete, PLDT which owns Smart Communications, becomes a larger player and would take a much wider lead against Globe Telecom.

While Globe wasn't actually surprised of the ex-deal, citing merging as a way for businesses to become more competitive, it were the consumers who expressed concern on the future of the industry.

Based on sentiments posted in various blogs and fora, mobile phone users were worried that Sun Cellular's cheaper call and text products, which it is most popular of, will be negatively affected upon PLDT takeover.

Some even accused PLDT of taking steps to monopolize the market, with speculations that it would lead to escalation in prices of mobile products and services.

Reports however said PLDT, in contrast to allegations, will retain Sun Cellular as a separate brand.

If this is the case, which most-likely will be, Sun Cellular expectedly will be able to take advantage of Smart's infrastructure and wireless network technological advancements to improve coverage and quality while preserving cheaper offers for mobile and broadband.

Subscribers do hope that the acquisition would result in cost efficiencies on both brands, Smart and Sun Cellular, as well as improved network capabilities of the latter.