2016 Internet and Telecommunications in Philippines

Internet Growth in Philippines:

YEAR

Users

Population

% Pop.

Usage Source

2000

2,000,000

78,181,900

2.6 %

ITU

2005

7,820,000

84,174,092

9.3 %

C.I.Almanac

2008

14,000,000

96,061,683

14.6 %

Yahoo!

2009

24,000,000

97,976,603

24.5 %

Nielsen

2011

33,600,000

103,775,002

32.4 %

Nielsen

2016

54,000,000

102,624,209

52.6 %

ITU

(Source: http://www.internetworldstats.com/asia/ph.htm)

In 1992 the Philippines had one of the lowest levels of telephone penetration in Asia: slightly more than 1 per 100 inhabitants. By 1995 there were about 60 telephone companies, but most were operating only in urban areas and the long-distance traffic was controlled by a single company, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. In 1995 a new telecommunications policy act was passed which, although still favoring the dominant carrier, acted to both deregulate telecommunications and increase coverage in more rural areas. One result was an increase in the number of phone lines to almost 4 per 100 inhabitants by the end of 1999. However, the cost of a phone call to the United States is more than 120 times the cost of a flat rate local call. In June 1999 the Philippine League for Democratic Telecommunications called for a boycott of both local and long distance telephone services to protest the high rates being charged and the threat of incipient call metering.

In the Philippines the Internet is growing. Although there are almost 100 Internet Service Providers in the Philippines, most of them have connections through backbones located in the United States. Internet dial-up connection charges are approximately 2 dollars hourly (or 33 dollars for up to 60 hours monthly). This fee is approximately 80% higher than similar charges in the United States. Since GNP per capita in the Philippines is only 12% of that in the United States, it is clear that access to the e-world is currently limited to the wealthier citizens and companies. In 2000 Internet users were approximately 2,000,000. In 2003 this number had increased to 3,500,000 Internet surfers.

According to the research group BSBC Hook UAI, there were 1,925,649 Internet users in 2004 in Metro Manila belonging to the A, B and C classes, ages ranging from 13 to 30 years old, as compared to 1,885,465 in 2002, indicating a 21.3-percent increase.

The Internet café has been the growth driver of online gaming with a 38-percent share from January to June 2004, with Metro Manila registering the highest share with 41 percent, followed by Central Luzon with 17 percent. Since the Philippines has a low personal computer (PC) penetration rate estimated at less than 10 percent of the total population, the Internet café has provided access to online gaming and the Web to many Filipinos. (http://www.internetworldstats.com/asia/ph.htm)

1. Philippines – Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations – Statistics and Analyses

While the telecom sector in the Philippines has witnessed considerable investment and business activity since deregulation, the market has continued to fall short of its full potential. Nevertheless, there certainly has been a lot of activity, with the market often finding a different direction from what was envisaged.

Despite competition from new carriers and mobile operators, PLDT has continued to be the Philippines’ dominant fixed-line and mobile provider. And as such has been a large part of the momentum in the country’s telecom market. Nevertheless, PLDT’s role has not gone unchallenged and in recent years Globe Telecom in particular has been pushing hard to overhaul the incumbent.

The country’s mobile market has been particularly energetic for some years, for example, running on what could only be described as a genuine revolution in the development of SMS as an effective communications service. Even more significant ultimately has been the recent expansion in broadband. Broadband is finally building a healthy subscriber base, boosted by the considerable presence of mobile services in the mix of the various broadband platforms delivering internet access. There has also been good progress in the rollout of optical fibre infrastructure, although not on the national scale envisaged. In the meantime, the larger operators are building IP-based Next Generation Networks. Whilst the global financial problems presented some real challenges for the local telecom market, the negative impact seemed to have been put well behind now.

This report provides a statistical overview of the Philippines telecom market including local, domestic and international infrastructure together with overviews of the major fixed network operators along with specific IT developments including cloud computing and data centres.

Key developments:
The DTI and the NTC signed a MoA to strengthen laws to protect consumers against deceptive and unfair practices in the telecommunications industry.
PLDT introduced a quad-play service, bundling a mobile package with its voice, data and fibre services.
Globe Telecoms uccessfully integrated its recently-acquired Bayan Telecommunications (Bayantel) subsidiary into its operations.
NTC approved a network sharing deal between Globe Telecom and ABS-CBN Corp;
the deal was part of ABS-CBN Corp’s plan to become the country’s ‘third telecom player;’
BellTel was making a move to become the Philippines’ fourth mobile operator after PLDT, Globe and ABS-CBN Mobile. (https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Philippines-Telecoms-Infrastructure-Operators-Regulations-Statistics-and-Analyses)

2. Broadband market finally gains momentum

While the telecom sector in the Philippines has witnessed considerable investment and business activity since deregulation, the market has continued to fall short of its full potential. Nevertheless, there certainly has been a lot of activity, with the market often finding a different direction from what was envisaged.  Despite competition from new carriers and mobile operators, PLDT has continued to be the Philippines’ dominant fixed-line and mobile provider. And as such has been a large part of the momentum in the country’s telecom market. Nevertheless, PLDT’s role has not gone unchallenged and in recent years Globe Telecom in particular has been pushing hard to overhaul the incumbent.

Over the last five years the Philippines mobile subscriber base has seen a moderate growth rate with a gradual easing of growth due to a maturing market.

A feature of the Philippines mobile market has been the near duopoly with Smart together with Globe Telecom maintaining a tight hold on the industry. Smart, in particular, as a subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) has a dominating presence in the market place. However Globe Telecom has bridged the gap significantly over the past two years.

The mobile networks provide more than 99% coverage of population. The local market has started to focus on value added services as a comparatively cautious rollout of 3G took place followed by the start of 4G/LTE network rollouts.

The two leaders in the mobile market, Smart Communications and Globe Telecom continued to compete vigorously in the marketplace; they were steadily improving their service quality in order to be even more competitive. The introduction of mobile broadband services was starting to provide more opportunities for expanding the sector.

A unique characteristic of the Philippines mobile market has been the large number of services available for Filipino working overseas. This is not surprising given that the national economy relies heavily on their remittances being sent back home.  As with other markets throughout Asia, mobile phone ownership in the Philippines has for many years been boosted through the availability of prepaid services

There has also been good progress in the rollout of optical fibre infrastructure, although not on the national scale envisaged. In the meantime, the larger operators are building IP-based Next Generation Networks. Whilst the global financial problems presented some real challenges for the local telecom market, the negative impact seemed to have been put well behind now.

More than 80% of all internet connections were broadband-based services, representing a major shift in the broadband presence in the Philippines in recent years. Broadband subscription penetration as a proportion of the population is still only just over 11%. However after many years of sluggish growth, the broadband market in the Philippines has started to flourish. Broadband users in the Philippines have a number of high-speed internet access options available to them: Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable modem, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), WiMAX and mobile data services. More recently, there has been a major push by market leader PLDT to offer fibre-based services; Globe has been trying to match the PLDT push where it can. Also the more recently launched mobile broadband services were providing a major and much-needed boost to the expansion. This report looks at the various projects and initiatives as the Philippine government continues to encourage the development of broadband in the country.

Whilst the overall rate of growth in broadband services in the Philippines remains strong, big questions hang over the market. Despite declining prices in both fixed and mobile broadband, this type of service is still not affordable for the majority of the population.

Key developments:

PLDT introduced a quad-play service, bundling a mobile package with its voice, data and fibre services.
Globe Telecoms uccessfully integrated its recently-acquired Bayan Telecommunications (Bayantel) subsidiary into its operations.
NTC approved a network sharing deal between Globe Telecom and ABS-CBN Corp.
the deal was part of ABS-CBN Corp’s plan to become the country’s ‘third telecom player;’
BellTel was making a move to become the Philippines’ fourth mobile operator after PLDT, Globe and ABS-CBN Mobile.
continuing growth in mobile broadband usage.
both Smart and Globe were pushing on with development of cloud computing platforms.
the Philippines was moving to legislate on the issue of minimum broadband speeds.
Smart was leading the deployment of 4G LTE mobile services across the country, with its 4G network covering more than 85% of the population.
PLDT’s strong market position has slipped to some extent
Globe has been notably successful in its push to increase market share. (https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Philippines-Telecoms-Mobile-Broadband-and-Digital-Media-Statistics-and-Analyses?r=51)

3. Philippines – Fixed Broadband, Digital Economy and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

Compared with most of its Asian neighbours, the Philippines has moved slowly on the adoption of internet. Nevertheless, this situation is changing rapidly.

More than 80% of all internet connections were broadband-based services, representing a major shift in the broadband presence in the Philippines in recent years. Broadband subscription penetration as a proportion of the population is still only just over 11%. However after many years of sluggish growth, the broadband market in the Philippines has started to flourish. Broadband users in the Philippines have a number of high-speed internet access options available to them: Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable modem, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), WiMAX and mobile data services. More recently, there has been a major push by market leader PLDT to offer fibre-based services; Globe has been trying to match the PLDT push where it can. Also the more recently launched mobile broadband services were providing a major and much-needed boost to the expansion. This report looks at the various projects and initiatives as the Philippine government continues to encourage the development of broadband in the country.

Whilst the overall rate of growth in broadband services in the Philippines remains strong, big questions hang over the market. Despite declining prices in both fixed and mobile broadband, this type of service is still not affordable for the majority of the population.

Key developments:
continuing growth in mobile broadband usage
broadband subscriber numbers were growing strongly
broadband penetration reached just over 10%;
PLDT continued to extend its FttH footprint;
both Smart and Globe were pushing on with development of cloud computing platforms
the Philippines was moving to legislate on the issue of minimum broadband speeds. (https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Philippines-Fixed-Broadband-Digital-Economy-and-Digital-Media-Statistics-and-Analyses?r=51)

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