DSL subscribers grow by 300%, ventures into gaming and Internet related services http://www.bayantel.com.ph/images/_tantra.jpg ABS-CBNi, BayanTel formalize agreement on Tantra. ABS-CBNi managing director Carlo Leo Katigbak and BayanTel chief consultant Tunde Fafunwa (center) formalized the two company’s agreement to launch Tantra. Also present were Joevel Rivera, BayanTel vice president for product development and management, Mitch Padua, ABS-CBNi head of marketing, Rodrigo Montinola, BayanTel vice president for Metro Manila retail markets, and Connie Nolasco-Lopez, ABS-CBN MultiMedia Inc. general manager. In the third quarter, BayanTel’s revenues from its Internet services, which includes pre-paid cards (Blast and Loaded), post-paid dial up subscriptions (Sky Internet) and DSL (Sky DSL), registered a 300% growth over the same period last year. At the same time, it has now emerged as 2nd in the DSL market in terms of subscriber base by registering a 341% subscriber growth in just one year. To further expand its market, BayanTel has ventured into key initiatives that are projected to spur further demand for Internet connectivity: on-line gaming and managed services. On-line gaming is being looked at as a killer application for broadband Internet connection. Recognizing that, BayanTel has teamed up with ABS-CBN Interactive on the new 3-D massive multi-player on-line game (MMOG) entitled Tantra. Tantra is the newest MMOG that offers rich 3D graphics and a compelling storyline that is expected to attract serious interest from the growing population of on-line gamers in the Philippines. The game is one of the newest and most exciting on-line games that have come out from South Korea, where on-line gaming has reached high critical mass. The game offers richly textured graphics and animation based on a story of love and revenge among clans of gods and goddesses. Players can choose from among several exciting and colorful characters to adopt as a role to engage in various quests while going through different multiple levels of fantasy worlds set in colorful and realistic landscapes. The partnership calls for BayanTel to be the network provider of the game, which means the game is best played using our various Internet connection services, whether pre-paid and post-paid dial-up or broadband via Sky DSL. Tantra is now under open beta sessions and it is scheduled for commercial launch early next year. At the same time, BayanTel has also strengthened its capability to provide a full range of Internet services to customers, including co-location, e-mail hosting, web hosting, and firewalls). Instead of clients having to outsource their managed service requirements to third party vendors, BayanTel is now better equipped to provide these services, apart from providing for their connectivity or transport requirements. It has recently partnered with IBM and EMC, two prominent names in high capacity data storage, for the project and BayanTel is optimistic this would create more revenue channels. To further support the demand, BayanTel will ensure all of its service areas, which includes Quezon City, Malabon, Valenzuela, and in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Agusan, General Santos and Davao, will be DSL capable in the next few months.