For two weeks now, I’ve been hearing (and reading about) the decommissioning of Red Mobile. Its subscriber base of around 900,000 (was 1.4 million in 2011) is now being migrated into Smart’s mobile network. It’s sad to see that this is how the story of my preferred mobile network brand ends.
From an ambitious startup as CURE in 2001, it was one of the first 3G network service providers in the Philippines. It was supposed to run as an ad-supported mobile platform (see my related post here) but this non-traditional strategy did not work. Rebranded as ümobile, it was acquired by Smart Communications in 2008 with the latter’s plans of expanding its 3G network. It was later relaunched as Red Mobile with very affordable call and text messaging rates.
I am using a Red Mobile SIM since mid-2009. I even got a 3G Motorola phone at half the price when Red Mobile had a promotional sale in Davao City then. Its prepaid services and rates have always been better than Smart or Globe whether postpaid or prepaid. That was until its conversion into a 2G-only network that resulted to end of support for data services including mobile internet and video calling.
Now, Smart has stopped selling new Red Mobile SIM cards and Red Mobile’s 3G frequency franchise will be turned over to the government. It is apparent that Red will face the same fate as Addict Mobile had a few years back.
Well, that’s the way business ventures work. If it won’t generate revenue, it won’t attract any business interest. PLDT and Smart’s focus now is on Sun Cellular. But I won’t mind it much. Whatever happens to my Red Mobile number, I’m sure to get better mobile services in the years to come.