Globe Telecom expects demand for mobile broadband services in the Philippines to grow in line with the increasing number of smartphone users in the country and Filipinos’ penchant to access social networking sites like Facebook.
“Demand for mobile broadband is inherently there as the market for mobile telephony has already reached its mature stage, though 96% of our total subscriber base are prepaid customers, “said Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu in his presentation during the Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong, an annual gathering of thousands of CEOs and key executives of the region’s mobile industry.”
A smartphone is a type of mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary basic feature phone. A study by New York-based technology market intelligence firm ABI Research showed that over 27% of all smartphones released in the market to date are priced at under $200 (about P9,100) and by 2014, that percentage could hit over 45%. Mr. Cu noted that smartphone sales of Globe alone are up to 40,000 units a month.
Mr. Cu added that the paucity of fixed-line infrastructure in the Philippines, being an archipelago, bodes well for the growth of mobile broadband in the country. The Philippines has just 2.5 million wireline connections, giving it a household penetration of only 10%. By contrast, there are about 80 million SIMs in use in the country.
Despite the low penetration rate for fixed-line broadband, social networking is posting phenomenal growth in the Philippines. In fact, the country jumped to 6th from 7th spot in the roster of Facebook users around the world in the last three months alone, with over 18 million members and is 4th largest in the number of Twitter users across Asia with over three million users.
The challenge however, according to Cu, is how Globe can take advantage of the momentum in mobile broadband by offering specific tariff plans to its prepaid subscribers who use their mobile phones to access various Internet sites.
“And with the continued penetration of smartphones among them mainly because of easy access to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, we want to provide them with the best offers that will let them enjoy Globe their way,” added Cu.
For only P20 a day, for example, Globe prepaid users subscribed to the company’s Surf All Day plan can enjoy unlimited access to their favorite mobile Internet site such as Facebook. Prepaid users are also given the opportunity to load small amounts as low as P10.00 to allow for continuity of Internet access at any given time.