In today’s hyperconnected world, internet access has risen to the top of the “needs” totem pole. More and more, people turn to the internet as they grapple with the exigencies of life in the 21st century.
Unable to leave the baby at home? Mothers can now work online or start an online business. Too sick to go out? Have dinner delivered via an online food delivery service and spend the day binge-watching iWant’s latest drop. Organizing a party? Find the perfect playlist via an audio streaming site. Raining hard the whole afternoon? Go to online news sites for the list of flooded areas before venturing out —and message the kids to stay safe while you’re at it.
Speed vs. price
No internet, no life. Such is the reality in the digital age. But between cheap but slow internet on one hand and a faster but pricier version on the other, which one would Juan dela Cruz and his family choose? What if they didn’t have to sacrifice price for speed or vice versa?
“It’s a constant battle between speed and price,” agrees Alan Supnet. “Home internet should be fast and affordable, but that’s the struggle—more often than not the fast speed is expensive. Or you can have something that’s cheaper but it’s also unreliable and slow.”
Supnet, who heads SKY’s Consumer Broadband Products group, is talking about how internet service has become a most vital utility alongside water and electricity, and how some consumers consider it as important as food.
“It’s so different vis-à-vis five years ago,” he notes.
Supnet joined SKY in 2011. He took on his current role as Consumer Broadband Products head 17 months ago after more than half a decade as SKY marketing chief.
Super fresh, Super speeds
Just last month, his team launched the SKY Fiber Super Speed home internet subscription unlimited fiber plans that include Plan 5Mbps, Plan 25Mbps, Plan 50Mbps, Plan 75Mbps and Plan 150Mbps.
With these fresh offerings, SKY allows consumers to choose from a range of options in terms of speed and price.
Plan 5Mbps, at P999 per month, is currently the most affordable unlimited fiber home broadband plan in the country. Supnet observes that the same plan from competing brands will set the customer back by as much as P700 per month.
Plan 25Mbps, tabbed as the “best value” SKY Fiber plan, perfectly matches up against the competitor’s P1,500-offering while the other providers peg it at as much as P2,899 per month.
“We can say that our speed and price points are so much better compared to Globe, Converge and PLDT. I am confident about that,” Supnet smiles.
Another SKY first
But the treats don’t end there as SKY Fiber adds another first to the list of innovations it has brought into Filipino homes—the SKY Fiber All-In Box.
When one traditionally signs up for broadband and cable TV, plus ABS-CBN TVplus for good measure, that means three boxes, Supnet points out. Factor in applicable expenses—installation fees and the one-time cost of the ABSCBN TVplus box—and it all adds up to a pretty penny, not to mention a lot of unsightly wires.
“We eliminated all that with the All-in Box,” Supnet says. SKY Fiber’s latest innovation also allows users to watch free ABS-CBN TVplus channels such as Cinemo, Yey, Jeepney, Knowledge Channel and others, and binge on ABSCBN shows, iWant Originals and local blockbusters on their TV through the built-in iWant app.
Just press ‘BUY’
For maximum convenience, customers can even subscribe to SKYcable channels—from Cinema One, Fox Movies, Disney Jr., Discovery, Nat Geo Wild and more—or subscribe to SKY Pay-Per-View any time using the remote control that comes with the device.
“All you need to do is press ‘BUY,’ then you’ll receive a message in your preregistered email address that contains a link. Click the link and in less than a minute you’ll be able to watch the channel or pay-perview that you ordered,” Supnet explains.
The All-In Box is an option that subscribers can avail of for an introductory installation fee of P1,499 until November 30, 2019. But subscribers can also choose to go with a regular modem for an initial cash out of P999.
Evolving with the times
Supnet, who counts pioneering projects in telco among his accomplishments as a marketer, further cites the importance of transforming and evolving in order to weather the rapidly changing market dynamics of the internet.
“We have to unlearn what we know, to evolve. People are starting to leave cable. If we live on past glory as the leader in cable, we might end up being the next Nokia or Blackberry or Kodak of the world,” he says.
“That’s why broadband is the heart of the All-In Box. But we didn’t overlook the other things—we put in DTT, we made it easy to subscribe to SKYcable. It’s now about integrating cable in the broadband products.”
Superior customer service
SKY is also improving the customer experience it offers as reports spread of disgruntled clients leaving their after-sales issues-plagued competitors.
According to SKY president and COO March Ventosa, residential subscribers and business customers are at the center of everything that SKY does.
He notes: “Our goal is to provide superior customer service and the current transformation within SKY is focused on this. Our many interactions with our subscribers constantly remind us how important the service we provide is to individuals’ lives. It is therefore our mission to ensure we consistently provide ‘Wow at Saya’ from the very first day they become a SKY Kapamilya. Our relationships with our subscribers are long term and we want to ensure they have easy access to information and to services. We offer services that enhance their experiences and reward them for their loyalty.”
In addition to the All-In Box, the SKY chief also cites the recently launched mySKY app that allows subscribers “a lot more access to information on their service.”
“We have many more initiatives in development,” he says.
Jaja Suarez, head of the Consumer Products Group, stresses: “With technology adaptation happening very fast across all players, the only differentiator and competitive advantage we can have is customer experience.”
This good service experience and degree of empathy with SKY customers at every life stage, from acquisition to after-sales, “will make them love us and prefer us over others,” Suarez elaborates.
In the end, it all goes back to the vision expressed by ABSCBN CEO Carlo L. Katigbak: for SKY Fiber to be the best provider of broadband in the Philippines.
Supnet aims to achieve this dream fiber-fast: “If the plan is for five years, we hope to be able to do it in three.”