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Philippines - Mobile Communications, Forecasts and Broadcasting Market


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The Philippines mobile market took off back in 1999/2000. In the decade or so following the number of mobile telephone subscribers has grown by around 100 million coming into 2013, mobile penetration had moved past 100% (112% by end-2012) in this country of around 96 million people. This report looks at the market in which this growth has taken place. It also describes another related phenomenon – the surprising performance of SMS in the Philippines. At its peak, around two billion SMS messages were being sent every day in the Philippines. The country generates the largest SMS volume in the world, the Philippines accounting for more than 10% of global SMS at one stage; at the same time, its mobile operators were generating the highest proportion of non-voice revenues in the world. But an indication of the constant change in the mobile market is that the Philippines SMS market had started to decline in 2010/2011 as the impact of internet-based social networks began to have an impact on SMS usage. This report takes a broad look at the mobile market in the Philippines and provides some pertinent statistics.

The Philippines has a vibrant media sector. Ownership has been predominantly private and freedom of the press is guaranteed by the Constitution. The first television broadcast was in 1953. There are six free-to-air nationwide television networks. Cable TV was launched as long ago as 1969, but it has only been in recent years that it has really started to grow, substantially boosted by the prospect of bundling broadcasting with internet, telephony and other services. This report also provides a broad overview of the Philippines television broadcasting market.

Key developments:

media conglomerate ABS-CBN moved towards becoming a telecom operator by signing a deal with Globe Telecom in 2013;
by early 2013 mobile broadband services had reached 14% of the total mobile subscriber base;
Smart Communications announced the commercial launch of its 4G/LTE network in 2012 and proceeded to expand coverage;
Globe Telecom launched its commercial 4G/LTE offering some time after Smart;
PLDT’s mobile units were continuing to hold around 67% of the country’s total mobile subscriber base, following the PLDT acquisition of Digitel in late 2011.
the Philippines has put in place a program to move the broadcasting market to fully digital by 2015;
the country has selected the ISDB-T platform for its terrestrial transmission standard.

Companies covered in this report include:

PLDT, Smart Communications, Talk ‘N Text (TNT), Red Mobile (CURE), Globe Telecom, Digitel, Extelcom, Bayantel, MultiMedia Telephony, AZ Communications Network.
PLDT, MediaQuest, MediaScape, Sky Cable, Home Cable, Destiny Cable, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, Associated Broadcasting Corporation.


1. Synopsis
2. Mobile communications
2.1 Overview of the Philippines’ mobile market
2.2 Mobile operators
2.3 Mobile statistics
2.4 Forecasts – mobile services – 2015; 2020
2.4.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
2.5 Mobile ARPU
2.6 Regulatory issues
2.6.1 Proposed fines for poor services levels
2.6.2 Compulsory SIM registration
2.6.3 Per-pulse billing dispute
2.6.4 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
2.6.5 Spectrum User Fees (SUF)
2.6.6 SMS-related issues
2.6.7 ‘Illegal’ use of frequencies
2.7 Mobile technologies
2.7.1 Third Generation (3G) mobile
2.7.2 Long Term Evolution (LTE) /Fourth Generation (4G) networks
2.7.3 Smartphones
2.7.4 AppBridge project
2.8 Mobile voice services
2.8.1 Prepaid cards
2.9 Mobile data services
2.9.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
2.9.2 Multimedia Message Service (MMS)
2.9.3 Mobile TV
2.9.4 Data Centres
2.10 Mobile content and applications
2.10.1 Overview
2.10.2 Content development
2.10.3 M-commerce
3. Broadcasting
3.1 Overview of broadcasting market in the Philippines
3.2 Market development
3.3 Regulatory developments
3.3.1 Digital TV
3.3.2 Copyright issues
3.4 PLDT
3.5 Digital TV services
3.5.1 Broadband TV (IPTV)
3.5.2 Cable and pay TV
3.5.3 Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasting
3.5.4 Satellite TV
3.5.5 Direct-to-Home (DTH) services
4. Related reports
Table 1 – Historical - Total mobile subscribers and penetration rate –1994 - 2004
Table 2 – Total mobile subscribers and penetration rate –2005 - 2013
Table 3 – 3G mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2013
Table 4 – Mobile market share - major operators – 2011
Table 5 – Mobile market share - major operators – March 2013
Table 6 – Historical - Mobile services revenue – 1993 - 2004
Table 7 – Mobile services revenue – 2005 - 2011
Table 8 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2015; 2020
Table 9 – Total SMS messages – 2003 - 2012
Table 10 – Key broadcasting statistics - 2012
Chart 1 - Total mobile subscribers and annual growth - 2000 – 2013
Chart 2 - Mobile market share - major operators – 2011
Chart 3 - Mobile market share - major operators - March 2013

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