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Telecommunications industry in the Philippines - statistics & facts

The telecommunications industry proved to be one of the most essential industries as it enabled personal and professional communication and was a key tool used by businesses. Despite the global health crisis brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the industry showed resilience in recent years, as reflected by the sector’s increasing gross value added contribution to the Philippine economy.

The state of telecommunications infrastructure

The Philippines’s telecommunications infrastructure is still on its way towards reaching its goal of being a global communications hub. With a focus on the mobile market, the government is pushing for improvements in the industry’s performance including plans to create a Common Tower Policy that will delist the telecom sector as a public utility. Ultimately, this will lead to the entrance of foreign investors thus transforming the current infrastructure landscape. In its current state, the mobile network in the Philippines is still dominated by either 3G or 4G connections, while rural areas have been limited to either 2G or 3G network access. Meanwhile, a 5G network was introduced at the beginning of 2020 and mobile network operators have started offering this technology to their customers.

While the mobile segment is dominating the market, the fixed-line segment remained underdeveloped. Of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines ranked one of the lowest in fibre-to-home subscriptions and fixed-line penetration continues to reflect stagnant growth.

Major telecommunications providers

The industry has long been dominated by a duopoly between PLDT and Globe Telecom, which both provide fixed-line networks, fixed broadband, and mobile network services. With the mobile segment dominating the market, both companies pursued investments in mobile telecommunications, offering low-cost voice, messaging, and mobile broadband plans for their prepaid and post-paid customers. In the prepaid segment, PLDT owns and operates prepaid and post-paid services through its brands, namely Smart Communications, and Sun Cellular, with TNT. Meanwhile, Globe Telecommunications operates a prepaid and post-paid plan offer, along with another cellular service brand, TM, previously known as Touch Mobile.

Challenging the duopoly was Dito Telecommunity which was introduced as the third major telecommunications provider in the country after winning a government-sanctioned bidding in 2018. The company, which is partly owned by Chinese state-owned China Telecom, started its commercial operation in March 2021 with a focus on mobile services and has announced plans to offer high-speed broadband services in 2022.

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Telecommunications industry in the Philippines

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Telecommunications industry in the Philippines - statistics & facts

The telecommunications industry proved to be one of the most essential industries as it enabled personal and professional communication and was a key tool used by businesses. Despite the global health crisis brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the industry showed resilience in recent years, as reflected by the sector’s increasing gross value added contribution to the Philippine economy.

The state of telecommunications infrastructure

The Philippines’s telecommunications infrastructure is still on its way towards reaching its goal of being a global communications hub. With a focus on the mobile market, the government is pushing for improvements in the industry’s performance including plans to create a Common Tower Policy that will delist the telecom sector as a public utility. Ultimately, this will lead to the entrance of foreign investors thus transforming the current infrastructure landscape. In its current state, the mobile network in the Philippines is still dominated by either 3G or 4G connections, while rural areas have been limited to either 2G or 3G network access. Meanwhile, a 5G network was introduced at the beginning of 2020 and mobile network operators have started offering this technology to their customers.

While the mobile segment is dominating the market, the fixed-line segment remained underdeveloped. Of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines ranked one of the lowest in fibre-to-home subscriptions and fixed-line penetration continues to reflect stagnant growth.

Major telecommunications providers

The industry has long been dominated by a duopoly between PLDT and Globe Telecom, which both provide fixed-line networks, fixed broadband, and mobile network services. With the mobile segment dominating the market, both companies pursued investments in mobile telecommunications, offering low-cost voice, messaging, and mobile broadband plans for their prepaid and post-paid customers. In the prepaid segment, PLDT owns and operates prepaid and post-paid services through its brands, namely Smart Communications, and Sun Cellular, with TNT. Meanwhile, Globe Telecommunications operates a prepaid and post-paid plan offer, along with another cellular service brand, TM, previously known as Touch Mobile.

Challenging the duopoly was Dito Telecommunity which was introduced as the third major telecommunications provider in the country after winning a government-sanctioned bidding in 2018. The company, which is partly owned by Chinese state-owned China Telecom, started its commercial operation in March 2021 with a focus on mobile services and has announced plans to offer high-speed broadband services in 2022.

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