The state of telecommunications infrastructureThe Philippines’ telecommunications infrastructure is still on its way toward reaching its goal of being a global communications hub. With a focus on the mobile market, the government pushes to improve the rollout of mobile networks by introducing a common tower policy that will delist the telecom sector as a public utility. As of December 2020, the Philippines has nearly 23 thousand combined cell towers operated by the three major telecom companies. 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, the 5G network was introduced at the beginning of 2020, and mobile network operators have started offering this technology to their customers. Across the globe, the Philippines ranked next to China and the United States according to the number of cities covered by the 5G network. Although its average download and upload speed remains meager compared to its neighboring countries in the region, the 5G connection is expected to continue improving in the following years.
While the mobile segment is dominating the market, the fixed line segment remained underdeveloped. Of the countries in the region, the Philippines ranked one of the lowest in fiber-to-home subscriptions in 2018. Fixed-line broadband penetration however, shows gradual growth.