"Development—social and economic—without telecommunications is not possible; but neither is telecommunications in a country without development. It will take more than a few telephone wires to break out of this vicious circle." (Ure, 1995, p.65)
While the Philippines have made significant progress since 1993, the country has a long way to go to be considered on par with the rest of the industrialized world with respects to telecommunications. The challenges faced in the Philippines are so large that no single telecommunications firm can solely alleviate them by themselves. It will take continuing commitments from the Philippine government, Philippine telecommunications companies like Globe Telecom, and a host of international partners to provide adequate telecommunications to the Philippine people.
Globe Telecom has demonstrated that an innovative firm can compete and survive in a industry that at one time was monopolistically dominated by a single player. Attempting to compete with PLDT directly in landlines would have caused almost certain failure for Globe. However, by focusing on a differentiated strategy offering long distance, landline, and wireless communications, Globe was able to compete successfully in several different areas of telecommunications. This diversity has lead Globe Telecom to become a leader in digital wireless communications in the Philippines.
Strong alliances with Singapore Telecommunications International, and more recently Deutsche Telekom, have allowed Globe to remain competitive and boost its recognition as a worldwide telecommunications company. With the strategic acquisition of Islacom, Globe was able to expand its holdings in the Philippines, acquiring additional bandwidth and subscribers, all while maintaining profitability.
It can be argued that Globe Telecom has been successful due in part to their aggressive use of information technology. While the telecommunications industry in general is highly dependent on technology, Globe Telecom has captured and maintained competitive advantage through their dedication early on to a 100% digital infrastructure. This decision has enabled them to provide superior wireless communications quality and services. Furthermore, it has allowed Globe to lead the Philippines in text messaging, a communication format so vital in the Philippines that they lead the world in its usage. As shown in Exhibit 6 Globe Telecom continues to reap rewards due to the innovational offerings it is able to provide to its customers based on its advanced digital informational technology infrastructure.
This case sheds light on the difficulties of telecommunications in the Philippines. From the lack of infrastructure—four lines per 100 inhabitants, to the geographical challenges of an island nation with some 7,100 islands. Despite these and a variety of other challenges, Globe Telecom has grown into one of the leading telecommunications providers in the Philippines. Strategic decisions by Globe Telecom have resulted in their recognized leadership in customer-service quality. By being the first to develop a 100% digital wireless network, they were able to lead the way in text messaging, used more in the Philippines than anywhere else in the world. Their commitment to innovation through technology provides another example of how Globe Telecom uses its resources to maintain a competitive advantage. Globe Telecom is now a leading business in the Philippines, and a worldwide example of how a telecommunications firm can succeed in an emerging economy.