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Strong smartphone subscription and data growth drive the telco industry in the Philippines

Adrian M. Reodique | July 12, 2016
Mobile subscription penetration in the country is expected to reach close to 130 percent by 2021.

The strong smartphone subscription and data growth are driving the telecommunications industry in the Philippines, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.

The report revealed that mobile subscription penetration in the country is expected to reach close to 130 percent over the next five years, while long-term evolution (4G LTE) is expected to grow close to 70 percent in 2021.

"By 2021, insights from the Ericsson Mobility Report indicate that the smartphone subscriptions in the country will more than double from close to 40 million in 2015 to around 90 million in 2021," said Sean Gowran, President and Country Manager of Ericsson Philippines and Pacific Islands, in a press statement.

In addition, mobile broadband (MBB) subscription and fixed broadband subscription penetration is set to reach more than 120 percent and almost 20 percent by 2021, respectively.

"Aside from increasing affordability of smartphones and improvements in broadband coverage that our operators are working on, we think the youth segment of the market is one of the key drivers of mobile broadband growth, as they are more likely to be viewing online videos, using social networking and instant messaging apps on a daily basis," noted Gowran.

In the Philippines, two out of 10 consumers use social networking, instant messaging and online videos daily.  The main smartphone apps in the country are Facebook, Facebook Messenger, YouTube and browsing apps such as Google and Google Chrome.

Globally, the report found that use of cellular data for smartphone video increased by 127 percent in just 15 months in 2014 to 2015. There has also been a drop of nearly 50 percent in the time teens spend watching video on a TV screen between 2011 and 2015.  

Meanwhile, the average data traffic per user for mobile broadband in the Philippines when comparing March 2016 and March 2015 grew close to 30 percent compared to around 60 percent for Wi-Fi.

"This is tremendous growth and we recommend that service providers consider how to include Wi-Fi as part of their overall strategy," said Gowran. 


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