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Philippines - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

  • June 2015
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 131 pages

The Philippines sees the start of a big move into mobile broadband
While the telecom sector in the Philippines has witnessed considerable investment and business activity since deregulation, the market has continued to fall short of its full potential. Nevertheless, there certainly has been a lot of activity, with the market often finding a different direction from what was envisaged. The country’s mobile market has been particularly energetic for some years, for example, running on what could only be described as a genuine revolution in the development of SMS as an effective communications service. Even more significant ultimately has been the recent expansion in broadband internet. Broadband is finally building a healthy subscriber base, boosted by the considerable presence of mobile broadband services in the mix of the various platforms available. There has also been good progress in the rollout of optical fibre infrastructure, although not on the national scale envisaged. In the meantime, the larger operators are building IP-based Next Generation Networks. Whilst the global financial problems had earlier presented some real challenges for the local telecom market, the negative impact seems to have been put well behind.

By early 2015 the number of mobile telephone subscribers had grown to around 113 million, with mobile penetration of 114% in this country of almost 100 million people. The Philippines mobile market initially took off in a big way back in 2000. It did so with the help of the surprising performance of SMS in the Philippines. At its peak, around two billion SMS messages were being sent every day in the Philippines. Although this market has eased considerably, the country reportedly generates the largest SMS volume in the world. An indication of the constant change in the mobile market has been the way the Philippines SMS market has started to decline as internet-based social networks have begun to impact dramatically on SMS usage. There is a major transition taking place as faster, new generation mobile networks become the norm.

Compared with most of its Asian neighbours, the Philippines has moved slowly on the adoption of internet. Nevertheless, this situation is changing rapidly. Of the estimated 45% of the population that made up the internet-user population coming into 2015, a large proportion of these were already using a high-speed broadband connection to go online. In early 2015 available statistics suggested that more than 80% of all internet subscriptions were broadband-based, representing a major shift in the broadband presence in the Philippines in recent years. Broadband subscription penetration as a proportion of the population was still only around 9%.

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 3% in 2015; only a little more than half of all Philippine towns and cities had a basic fixed telephone service by that stage.

Key developments
Growth in mobile subscribers in the Philippines was running at around 10% annually coming into 2015;
Mobile penetration had reached 114% by that stage;
Smart was leading the deployment of 4G LTE mobile services across the country, with its 4G network covering more than 85% of the population;
Globe Telecom was also expanding its 4G LTE coverage, but was trailing Smart;
There were over 8 million broadband subscribers in the country by early 2015; however, this still only represented around 8% population penetration;
The fixed-line market had effectively lost direction, with no growth expected in the short term;
Local media company ABS-CBS Corp was taking steps to become the ‘third player’ in the country’s telecom market;
In a relatively low key launch, ABS-CBNmobile started operating as an MVNO;
BellTel was also making a move in early 2015 to enter the Philippines mobile market and become its fourth mobile operator after PLDT, Globe and ABS-CBN Mobile;
The Philippine telecom sector continues to be an important element in the local economy, contributing over 10% to the country’s GDP.
Growth in GDP of between 6% and 7% per annum was forecast for the Philippines in 2015/2016;
The country selected the ISDB-T platform for its terrestrial transmission standard;
Revised legislation to create a new Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) was proceeding in early 2015.

Companies mentioned in this report include:
PLDT, Smart Communications, Talk ‘N Text (TNT), Red Mobile (CURE), Globe Telecom, Digitel, Extelcom, Bayantel, Bell Telecom (Bell Telecom), ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, ABS-CBNmobile, NOW Telecom (formerly Next Mobile), Liberty Telecom/Wi-Tribe, EasyCall, Altimax, Broadband Philippines, Meridian Telekoms, Vega Telecom, MultiMedia Telephony, AZ Communications Network, MediaQuest, MediaScape, Sky Cable, Home Cable, Destiny Cable, Associated Broadcasting Corporation.

Table Of Contents

Philippines - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
1. Key Statistics
1.1 Country overview
1.1.1 Background
1.1.2 Economy
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview
2.2 PLDT's acquisition of Digitel
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Regulatory authorities
3.1.1 National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)
3.1.2 Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT)
3.1.3 Proposed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)
3.2 Telecom sector liberalisation
3.3 Foreign ownership
3.3.1 Court ruling on PLDT case
3.4 Regulatory developments 2012 - 2015
3.4.1 NTC prepares to enforce internet service standards
3.4.2 Operators faced with major compensation bills
3.4.3 Network sharing
3.4.4 Anti-cable tapping law
3.4.5 Foreign ownership rules
3.4.6 Spectrum issues
3.4.7 Globe's use of Bayantel spectrum challenged
3.4.8 Approval of frequency sharing/transfers
3.4.9 Re-allocation of spectrum blocked by court decision
4. Major Operators
4.1 Overview and statistics
4.2 ABS-CBN aiming to be third telecom player'
4.3 Move by BellTel to be the Philippines' fourth mobile operator'
4.4 Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT)
4.4.1 Overview
4.4.2 Background
4.4.3 Foreign ownership issue
4.4.4 Financials
4.4.5 PLDT's fixed-line operations
4.4.6 PLDT's mobile operations
4.4.7 PLDT's broadband operations
4.4.8 Globe Telecom
4.4.9 Digitel/Sun Cellular
4.4.10 Bayantel
4.4.11 ABS-CBNmobile
4.4.12 Other operators
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 Overview
5.2 National infrastructure
5.2.1 Overview
5.3 Fixed-line statistics
5.4 Forecasts fixed-line market 2015; 2020
5.4.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
5.5 Background: Service Area Scheme (SAS)
5.6 National fibre optic networks
5.6.1 Background
5.6.2 Ongoing development
5.7 Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
5.7.1 National Broadband Network (NBN)
5.8 International infrastructure
5.8.1 International gateways
5.8.2 Submarine cable networks
5.8.3 Satellite systems
5.9 Infrastructure developments
5.9.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
5.9.2 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
5.9.3 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services
6. Broadband Market
6.1 Broadband market overview
6.2 Background
6.3 Internet and broadband statistics
6.4 Forecasts Internet services 2015; 2020
6.4.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
6.5 National Broadband Network (NBN)
6.5.1 Overview
6.5.2 Background
6.6 Broadband platforms
6.6.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
6.6.2 Cable modem
6.6.3 Fibre to the Home (FttH)
6.6.4 Mobile broadband
6.7 Broadband over power lines
6.8 Internet market overview
6.8.1 Background
6.8.2 Google study
6.8.3 Cloud computing
6.8.4 Internet exchanges
6.8.5 E-commerce
6.8.6 Data Centres
6.8.7 Support for internet-based businesses
6.9 Internet regulations
6.9.1 Overview
6.9.2 Domain names
6.9.3 Minimum internet speeds
6.9.4 Hackers
6.9.5 IPv6
6.9.6 Cybercrime legislation
6.10 Major broadband service providers and ISPs
6.10.1 Overview
6.10.2 PLDT
6.10.3 GlobeNet
6.10.4 Broadband Philippines
6.10.5 Meridian
6.11 Internet via satellite
6.12 IP networks
6.13 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services
7. Digital Media / Digital Economy
7.1 Overview of broadcasting market in the Philippines
7.2 Regulatory developments
7.2.1 Digital TV
7.3 PLDT
7.4 Digital TV services
7.4.1 Overview
7.4.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)
7.4.3 Globe Telecom - HOOQ
7.4.4 Cable and pay TV
7.4.5 Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasting
7.4.6 Satellite TV
7.4.7 Direct-to-Home (DTH) services
8. Mobile Communications
8.1 Overview of the Philippines' mobile market
8.2 Mobile operators
8.3 Mobile statistics
8.4 Forecasts mobile services 2015; 2020
8.5 Mobile ARPU
8.6 Regulatory issues
8.6.1 Globe's mobile broadband contracts
8.6.2 Proposed fines for poor services levels
8.6.3 Compulsory SIM registration
8.6.4 SMS-related issues
8.6.5 Illegal' use of frequencies and transmission equipment
8.6.6 Sale of CURE's spectrum
8.7 Mobile technologies
8.7.1 Third Generation (3G) mobile
8.7.2 Long Term Evolution (LTE) / Fourth Generation (4G) networks
8.8 Mobile voice services
8.8.1 Prepaid services
8.9 Mobile data services
8.9.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
8.9.2 Mobile TV
8.9.3 M-commerce
Table 1 Country statistics 2015
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2014
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2014
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2014
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Philippines' GDP real growth rate 2006 - 2016
Table 8 Mobile market share - major operators March 2015
Table 9 Mobile market share - major operators March 2014
Table 10 Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change 2014
Table 11 Mobile subscribers by operator 2009 2012
Table 12 Share of mobile market revenue Globe v. Smart and Sun Cellular 2012 - 2014
Table 13 Fixed lines - installed and subscribers - by operator - 2012
Table 14 PLDT's capital expenditure 2008 - 2015
Table 15 PLDT service revenue by market segment March- 2015 Quarter
Table 16 PLDT fixed-line subscribers 2001; 2005 - 2015
Table 17 PLDT total mobile subscribers 2006 - 2015
Table 18 PLDT mobile subscribers by operator unit/contract type 2014
Table 19 PLDT mobile ARPU by operator/contract type 2014
Table 20 Smart mobile subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 21 PLDT prepaid and postpaid mobile subscribers March 2015
Table 22 Smart prepaid and postpaid mobile ARPU 2014
Table 23 Talk N Text mobile subscribers 2002 - 2014
Table 24 Historical - Red Mobile (CURE) subscribers 2009 - 2012
Table 25 PLDT's broadband subscribers 2005 - 2015
Table 26 PLDT's fixed broadband subscribers 2008 - 2015
Table 27 Historical - PLDT's DSL subscribers 2001 - 2004
Table 28 PLDT's DSL subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 29 PLDT's wireless (mobile) broadband subscribers 2007 - 2015
Table 30 PLDT broadband ARPU by unit/contract type 2013 - 2014
Table 31 Smart's wireless broadband subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 32 Sun Cellular / Digitel's broadband subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 33 PLDT overview of broadband subscribers by operator/category 2014
Table 34 Globe Telecom fixed-line revenue 2013 - 2014
Table 35 Globe Telecom's capital expenditure 2012 - 2015
Table 36 Historical - Globe Telecom mobile subscribers 2001 - 2009
Table 37 Globe Telecom mobile subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 38 Globe Telecom mobile subscribers - prepaid v. postpaid March 2015
Table 39 Globe Telecom mobile ARPU by contract type 2014 - 2015
Table 40 Historical - Globe Telecom fixed-line subscribers 2002 - 2007
Table 41 Globe Telecom fixed-line subscribers 2008 - 2015
Table 42 Globe Telecom - fixed-line ARPU 2011 - 2014
Table 43 Globe Telecom broadband subscribers 2007 - 2015
Table 44 Globe Telecom's DSL subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 45 Globe Telecom fixed broadband subscribers 2014 - 2015
Table 46 Globe Telecom's wireless subscribers 2009 - 2015
Table 47 Globe Telecom broadband subscribers - wired v. wireless March 2015
Table 48 Historical - Digitel mobile subscribers 2005 - 2012
Table 49 Historical - Digitel mobile subscribers- prepaid and postpaid March 2012
Table 50 Historical - Digitel fixed-line subscribers 2001; 2007; 2010 - 2012
Table 51 Historical - Bayantel's fixed-line subscribers 2000 - 2001; 2006 - 2012
Table 52 Philippines' annual investment in telecom services 2009 - 2014
Table 53 Historical - Fixed lines in service and penetration 1994 - 2004
Table 54 Fixed lines in service and penetration 2005 2015
Table 55 Fixed lines proportion of urban and residential subscribers 2007 - 2014
Table 56 Historical - Fixed lines installed versus lines in operation 1995 - 2004
Table 57 Fixed lines installed versus lines in operation 2005 - 2014
Table 58 Forecast fixed line subscribers 2015; 2020
Table 59 Historical - total lines installed by SAS target date - by operator
Table 60 Historical - Internet users 1996 - 2009
Table 61 - Internet users - 2010 - 2016
Table 62 Historical - Internet subscribers 1996 - 2004
Table 63 - Internet subscribers 2005-2014
Table 64 Overview of internet market statistics 2012
Table 65 International internet bandwidth 2000 - 2014
Table 66 Percentage of households with computer 2002 - 2014
Table 67 Historical - Fixed broadband subscribers 2001 - 2004
Table 68 - Fixed broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2015
Table 69 Mobile broadband subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 70 Mobile broadband subscribers 2012 - 2014
Table 71 Wireless broadband subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 72 Fixed broadband subscribers and households 2014
Table 73 Broadband subscribers by major service provider 2011 - 2014
Table 74 Forecast internet subscribers 2015; 2020
Table 75 Historical - DSL subscribers 2001 - 2007
Table 76 DSL subscribers 2008 - 2014
Table 77 Cable modem subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 78 FttH subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 79 Historical - Number of registered ISPs 2001 - 2007
Table 80 Number of registered ISPs 2008 - 2014
Table 81 PLDT broadband subscribers 2005 - 2015
Table 82 Globe Telecom's broadband subscribers 2007 - 2014
Table 83 Key broadcasting statistics - 2014
Table 84 Historical - Total mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1994 - 2004
Table 85 Total mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 86 Mobile market share - major operators March 2015
Table 87 Mobile market share - major operators 2014
Table 88 Historical - Mobile services revenue 1993 - 2004
Table 89 Mobile services revenue 2005 - 2014
Table 90 Forecast mobile subscribers 2015; 2020
Table 91 Mobile ARPU by operator/unit 2014
Table 92 Globe Telecom mobile subscribers - prepaid v. postpaid March 2015
Table 93 PLDT prepaid and postpaid mobile subscribers March 2015
Table 94 Total SMS messages 2003 - 2014
Chart 1 - Fixed lines by operator - 2012
Chart 2 - Fixed lines in service and annual change - 2005 2015
Chart 3 - Fixed broadband subscribers - 2006 2015
Chart 4 - Mobile broadband subscribers - 2009 - 2014
Chart 5 - Broadband subscribers by major service provider - 2011 2014
Chart 6 - Total mobile subscribers and annual growth - 2005 2015
Chart 7 - Mobile market share - major operators 2014
Exhibit 1 Major submarine cables with landing points in the Philippines - 2014

Companies Mentioned
PLDT, Smart Communications, Talk andlsquo,N Text (TNT), Red Mobile (CURE), Globe Telecom, Digitel, Extelcom, Bayantel, Bell Telecom (Bell Telecom), ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, ABS-CBNmobile, NOW Telecom (formerly Next Mobile), Liberty Telecom/Wi-Tribe, EasyCall, Altimax, Broadband Philippines, Meridian Telekoms, Vega Telecom, MultiMedia Telephony, AZ Communications Network, MediaQuest, MediaScape, Sky Cable, Home Cable, Destiny Cable, Associated Broadcasting Corporation.

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