PLDT's efforts to shift its wireless customers to data made big strides in the first nine months of 2019 with mobile internet traffic and revenues growing at a fast clip.
The mobile internet traffic of its Smart, TNT and Sun mobile brands reached 1.1 exabytes (1106 PB), twice as large as the volume recorded in the same period last year with the rise in internet traffic in the third quarter 20% higher versus the previous quarter.
This boosted mobile service revenues by 20% year-on-year to Php52.6 billion. Mobile internet revenues, in particular, grew 47% to Php34.5 billion.
This has helped propel the share of data and broadband to PLDT’s total service revenues, as they now make up 66% of service revenues, up from 60% in the same period last year.
This surge in mobile data traffic and revenues is due to the combined impact of the continuing improvements of Smart's LTE mobile network and success of its attractive data-centric offers. Independent third party studies continued to show Smart offering a superior mobile video experience to customers.
Capitalizing on this advantage, Smart launched in June its free YouTube For All promo to promote video viewing among its subscribers. Under the promo, customers were given 1 hour of free video viewing every day via various apps like YouTube, iFlix, iWant, NBA and Cignal Play.
“Given the superiority of our LTE networks, our customers can pursue their digital passions and enjoy the best online video and mobile games experience,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, President and CEO of Smart Communications and Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer of PLDT.
Building on this success, Smart also stepped up activities to meet the rising demand for mobile games among Filipinos, including support for The Nationals, the first franchise-based eSports league in the country, and for the Philippine National eSports team Sibol, which will compete in the Southeast Asian Games in December.
Free IG and FB for Smart, TNT prepaid customers
To further drive usage, Smart recently launched its Free IG+FB For All promo, which offers Smart and TNT prepaid subscribers with free 1 GB access to Instagram and Facebook whenever they register to selected promos.
“Smart has always provided more Filipinos with access to digital platforms - from video streaming and now connecting to top social media apps. We understand that access to these platforms enables them to enrich and celebrate their passions, and we want to make this experience as worry-free as possible for our subscribers,” said Oscar Enrico A. Reyes, Jr., Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Business–Individual Group.
PH’s best network
These services are powered by PLDT and Smart’s fixed and wireless networks, which have been recognized by international data analytics firms for providing the best data experience in the country.
In its latest report, mobile data analytics firm Opensignal said Smart provides the country’s Best Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience.
Meanwhile, Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis, also found that PLDT and Smart delivered the country’s fastest fixed and mobile data speeds for the first half of 2019, as they continued to widen their respective leads over their competitors.
PLDT’s total fiber footprint is now at more than 307,000 kilometers nationwide. This fiber infrastructure also supports Smart’s mobile network. Smart’s ramped-up roll-out of its 4G and 3G base stations across the country has continued to improve its mobile service quality and coverage, and has increased the total number of its 4G base stations to about 21,700 nationwide.
The sustained improvement in the PLDT network has been supported by PLDT’s stepped-up capital expenditures program amounting to P78.4 billion in 2019.