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Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts - Philippines

Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts - Philippines

With mobile subscriber growth moderating, the Philippines sees big shift to mobile broadband

Growth in the mobile segment of the Philippines telecom market has been moderating after years of strong expansion. Initially the slowing in the market was partly due to a general downturn in the Philippine economy; however, even as the economy picked up, it became obvious that mobile subscriber numbers were continuing to increase but at a generally slower pace. Mobile revenue growth also down in what has for many years been a highly competitive market. Into 2014 the Philippines had around 105 million mobile subscribers. Penetration, having eased past the 100% milestone, ongoing annual subscriber growth of between 5% and 10% looked to be the pattern in the short term.

Clearly the economy will be an important factor in the continued expansion of the Philippine telecom sector. Earlier on, the recession in the US, its main trading partner, had hit exports hard but the country seemed to have generally overcome this setback. Following the big ‘down’ year in 2009, the country’s GDP growth bounced back up again in 2010 reaching almost 8% (even exceeding the 31-year high of 7.3% in 2007). It then fell back to under 4% in 2011. The Philippine economy grew more strongly again in 2012 (6.8%) and again in 2013 (7.2%) on the back of an improvement in exports, acceleration in private investment, and a full recovery in government spending. Growth of 6.5% per annum was forecast by the IMF for the 2014/2015 years.

Despite mobile subscriber expansion easing, the operators were continuing to talk positively about the potential of the market. Importantly, it was the mobile segment that remained central to the wider development of the country’s telecom sector. Although the sector was facing challenges there was clearly some energy remaining in it as the major operators rolled out their 3G mobile offerings and looked for improved revenue streams. In 2012 there was also the initial launching of 4G/LTE services by both PLDT’s Smart and Globe Telecom, reflecting a general optimism in the wider telecom market.

In the meantime the most encouraging news has been the increased interest in broadband services, with the major players in the local telecom market starting to invest heavily in the expansion of broadband access and looking at both wired and wireless broadband platforms to provide coverage. The demand for faster internet access was increasing rapidly in 2012 and into 2013. Around 80% of all internet connections were already broadband. Overall broadband penetration remained relatively low, however, with only around seven broadband services for every 100 people in the country by the start of 2012. A surge in the sale of smartphones and tablets suggested increasing demand ahead for mobile data services.

The country’s fixed-line subscriber penetration has remained essentially stagnant, even suffering decline at times. It has certainly been a long period of difficulties for the fixed-line operators. Despite the concerted effort of both the government and the operators to expand the national fixed network, fixed-line teledensity stood at just over 3% in 2014; only a little more than half of all Philippine towns and cities had a basic fixed telephone service by that stage.

Key highlights

Growth in mobile subscribers in the Philippines has slowed by 2012/2013 but was still managing to grow at slightly less than 10% annually;
Mobile penetration had reached 105% coming into 2014;
Although growth in the SMS market had peaked, Filipinos were reported to still be sending close to two billion SMS messages every day;
The country remained a global leader in SMS volumes and usage levels;
Broadband internet access in the Philippines had witnessed a six year run of strong subscriber growth;
There were over seven million broadband subscribers in the country by early 2014; however, this still only represented around 7% of the population;
The fixed-line market had effectively lost direction, with no growth expected in the short term;
Local media company ABS-CBS Corp was moving quickly to become the ‘third player’ in the country’s telecom market;
The Philippine telecom sector continues to be an important element in the local economy, contributing over 10% to the country’s GDP.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2014
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2013
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2013
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2013
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2013
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
      • Background
      • Economy
        • Table Philippines' GDP real growth rate - 2006 - 2015
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
    • PLDT'S ACQUISITION OF DIGITEL
    • BACKGROUND TO DEVELOPMENT
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITIES
      • National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)
      • Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT)
      • Proposed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
    • FOREIGN OWNERSHIP
      • Court ruling on PLDT case
      • SEC issues new rules
    • REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - 2012 - 2014
      • Operators faced with major compensation bills
      • Network sharing
      • Anti-cable tapping law
      • Spectrum issues
      • Globe's use of Bayantel spectrum challenged
      • Approval of frequency sharing/transfers
      • Reallocation of spectrum blocked by court decision
    • REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - 2011 AND EARLIER
      • Interconnection
      • Release of spectrum
      • Regulator's fees
      • Broadband speed
      • Interconnection fees
  • MAJOR OPERATORS
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Mobile market share - major operators - March 2013
      • Table Mobile market share - major operators - March 2014
      • Table Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2014
      • Table Mobile subscribers by operator - 2009 - 2012
      • Table Fixed lines - installed and subscribers - by operator - 2012
    • ABS-CBN AIMING TO BE `THIRD TELECOM PLAYER'
    • PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY (PLDT)
      • Overview
      • Business strategies
      • Foreign ownership issue
      • Financials
        • Table PLDT's capital expenditure - 2008 - 2014
      • PLDT's fixed-line operations
        • Table PLDT fixed-line subscribers - 2001; 2005 - 2013
      • PLDT's mobile operations
        • Table PLDT - total mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2014
        • Table PLDT - mobile subscribers by operator/contract type - 2013
        • Table PLDT - mobile ARPU by operator/contract type - 2013
        • Table Smart mobile subscribers - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Smart - prepaid and postpaid mobile subscribers - March 2014
        • Table Smart - prepaid and postpaid mobile ARPU - 2013
        • Table Smart Communications: 3G subscribers - 2012 - 2013
        • Table Talk `N Text mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2014
        • Table Red Mobile (CURE) subscribers - 2009 - 2012
      • PLDT's broadband operations
        • Table PLDT's fixed broadband subscribers - 2011 - 2013
    • GLOBE TELECOM
      • Overview
      • Service problems and network upgrade project
      • Financials
      • Bayantel debt buy-out and acquisition
      • Developments
      • Globe Telecom's mobile operations
        • Table Historical - Globe Telecom mobile subscribers - 2001 - 2004
        • Table Globe Telecom mobile subscribers - 2005- 2014
        • Table Globe Telecom - mobile subscribers - prepaid v. postpaid - March 2014
        • Table Globe Telecom - mobile ARPU by contract type - 2013
        • Table Global Telecom: 3G subscribers - 2012 - 2013
      • Globe Telecom's fixed-line operations (Innove)
        • Table Historical - Globe Telecom fixed-line subscribers - 2002 - 2007
        • Table Globe Telecom fixed-line subscribers - 2008 - 2013
        • Table Globe Telecom - fixed-line ARPU - 2011 - 2013
      • Globe Telecom's broadband operations
        • Table Globe Telecom broadband subscribers - 2006 - 2014
        • Table Globe Telecom broadband subscribers - wired v. wireless - March 2014
    • DIGITEL/SUN CELLULAR
      • Overview
      • Digitel's mobile operations
        • Table Digitel mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2012
        • Table Digitel -mobile subscribers- prepaid and postpaid - March 2012
      • Digitel's fixed-line operations
        • Table Digitel fixed-line subscribers - 2001; 2007; 2010 - 2012
      • PLDT's acquisition of Digitel
    • BAYANTEL
      • Overview
      • Operations
        • Table Bayantel's fixed-line subscribers - 2000 - 2001; 2006 - 2012
      • Financial difficulties
      • Globe Telecom's buyout of Bayan
    • OTHER OPERATORS
      • Extelcom
      • Bell Telecom
      • Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc (ETPI)
      • PhilCom
      • NOW Telecom (Next Mobile)
      • Liberty Telecom / Wi-tribe
      • ABS-CBN
      • New licences
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW
    • NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Overview
      • Fixed-line statistics
        • Table Historical - Fixed lines in service and penetration - 1994 - 2004
        • Table Fixed lines in service and penetration - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Fixed lines - proportion of urban and residential subscribers - 2007 - 2013
        • Table Fixed lines installed versus lines in operation - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Historical - Fixed lines installed versus lines in operation - 1995 - 2004
      • Globe Telecom's national fixed-line licence
    • BACKGROUND: SERVICE AREA SCHEME (SAS)
      • Table Total lines installed by operator by SAS target date
    • NATIONAL FIBRE OPTIC NETWORKS
      • Background
      • Developments - 2012 / 2013
    • NEXT GENERATION NETWORKS (NGNS)
      • PLDT
      • ETPI
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • International gateways
      • Submarine cable networks
        • Table Major submarine cables with landing points in the Philippines - 2013
      • Satellite systems
    • INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
      • Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • BROADBAND MARKET OVERVIEW
    • BACKGROUND
    • BROADBAND AND INTERNET STATISTICS
      • Table Historical - Fixed broadband subscribers - 2001 - 2004
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • Table Mobile broadband subscribers - 2009 - 2014
      • Table Mobile broadband subscribers - 2012 - 2014
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers and households - 2013
      • Table Broadband subscribers by major service provider - 2010 - 2013
      • Table Historical - Internet users - 1996 - 2004
      • Table Internet users - 2005 - 2014
      • Table Historical - Internet subscribers - 1996 - 2004
      • Table Internet subscribers - 2005-2014
      • Table Overview of internet market statistics - 2012
      • Table International internet bandwidth - 2000 - 2014
      • Table Percentage of households with computer - 2002 - 2014
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Broadband quality
      • Minimum internet speeds
      • Hackers
      • IPv6
    • NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK (NBN)
    • PC MARKET
    • BROADBAND PLATFORMS
      • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
        • Table Historical - DSL subscribers - 2001 - 2007
        • Table DSL subscribers - 2008 - 2013
      • Cable modem
        • Table Cable modem subscribers - 2005 - 2013
      • Fibre to the Home (FttH)
      • Mobile broadband
      • Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile services
    • BROADBAND OVER POWER LINES
    • INTERNET MARKET OVERVIEW
      • Role of Internet in the Philippines
      • Cloud computing
      • Cybercrime legislation
      • Social networking
      • Internet exchanges
      • Internet regulations
      • E-commerce
    • MAJOR BROADBAND SERVICE PROVIDERS AND ISPS
      • OVERVIEW
        • Table Historical - Number of registered ISPs - 2001 - 2007
        • Table Number of registered ISPs - 2008 - 2013
      • PLDT
        • Table PLDT broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Historical - PLDT's DSL subscribers - 2001 - 2004
        • Table PLDT's DSL subscribers - 2005 - 2013
        • Table PLDT's total fixed broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2014
        • Table PLDT's mobile broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2014
        • Table Smart's wireless broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • Digitel / Sun Cellular
        • Table Sun Cellular / Digitel's broadband subscribers - 2011 - 2014
      • GlobeNet
        • Table Globe Telecom's broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2014
        • Table Globe Telecom's DSL subscribers - 2009 - 2014
        • Table Globe Telecom's wireless subscribers - 2009 - 2014
      • Bayantel
      • Broadband Philippines
      • Meridian
      • Philweb.com
      • EasyCall
    • INTERNET VIA SATELLITE
    • IP NETWORKS
    • VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VOIP) SERVICES
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • OVERVIEW OF BROADCASTING MARKET IN THE PHILIPPINES
      • Table Key broadcasting statistics - 2013
    • MARKET DEVELOPMENT
    • REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS
      • Digital TV
    • PLDT
    • DIGITAL TV SERVICES
      • Broadband TV (IPTV)
      • Cable and pay TV
      • Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasting
      • Satellite TV
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW OF THE PHILIPPINES' MOBILE MARKET
    • MOBILE OPERATORS
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • Table Historical - Total mobile subscribers and penetration rate -1994 - 2004
      • Table Total mobile subscribers and penetration rate -2005 - 2014
      • Table 3G mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2013
      • Table Mobile market share - major operators - March 2014
      • Table Historical -Mobile services revenue - 1993 - 2004
      • Table Mobile services revenue - 2005 - 2013
    • MOBILE ARPU
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Sale of CURE's spectrum
      • Globe's mobile broadband contracts
      • Proposed fines for poor services levels
      • Compulsory SIM registration
      • Per-pulse billing dispute
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • SMS-related issues
      • `Illegal' use of frequencies
    • MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES
      • Third Generation (3G) mobile
      • Long Term Evolution (LTE) /Fourth Generation (4G) networks
      • Smartphones
      • AppBridge project
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Prepaid cards
    • MOBILE DATA SERVICES
      • Short Message Service (SMS)
        • Table Total SMS messages - 2003 - 2012
      • Multimedia Message Service (MMS)
      • Mobile TV
      • Data Centres
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Overview
      • Content development
      • M-commerce
  • FORECASTS
    • FORECASTS - FIXED-LINE MARKET - 2015; 2020
      • Table Forecast fixed line subscribers - 2015; 2020
    • FORECASTS - INTERNET SERVICES - 2015; 2020
      • Table Forecast Internet subscribers - 2015; 2020
    • FORECASTS - MOBILE SERVICES - 2015; 2020
      • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - 2015; 2020

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