PH mobile phone subscribers to hit 117M by 2016

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia,

Posted at Apr 09 2012 10:45 AM | Updated as of Apr 10 2012 02:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The number of mobile subscribers in the Philippines is expected to reach 117 million by end-2016, according to a report by Business Monitor International (BMI).

BMI's Philippines Telecommunications Report indicated that the country is expected to breach the 100% mobile penetration rate by end-2012, and will have a 114% penetration rate by end-2016.

The growth in subscribers will be mostly due to prepaid users, who have multiple SIM cards. "We continue to expect a relatively strong growth momentum in the next few years due to the prevalence of prepaid subscribers, which helps to inflate the headline figure through multiple SIM ownership and inactive subscriptions," the report said.

There will also be continued growth in fixed-line services in the Philipipnes.

"While most countries are experiencing declining demand for fixed-line services, we continue to see the number of fixed lines in the Philippines increase, which we attribute to operators’ efforts to expand into underserved rural regions," the report said.

Broadband subscribers are also expected to increase significantly to 10.23 million in the next four years. 

"We expect the Philippine broadband industry to outperform alternative segments due to increasing consumer demand and operators’ determination to tap into the growth potential by expanding and upgrading their fixed and mobile broadband networks. We envisage 10.233 million broadband subscribers in the country at the end of 2016 with mobile broadband the key growth driver," it said.

The report says there has been no noticeable changes since Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Digital Telecommunications Philippine (Digitel) merged.

"However, we are anticipating drastic developments in the future such as the imminent entry of San Miguel Corporation and the issue of Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprises’ 3G spectrum as well as the fifth 3G licence, which has been vacant for a number of years. Besides SMC, we expect Globe Telecom and Multi-Media Telephony to be interested in the 3G licences," the report added.