Smartphone use in PH seen rising to 70% by ’18
SMARTPHONE use will rapidly increase over the next three years, as cheaper models become available and demand for Internet services rises, the latest Ericsson South East Asia and Oceania regional Ericsson Mobility Report showed.
Smartphone penetration in the Philippines is pegged at 40 percent for 2015 and by 2018, that figure is seen to rise to about 70 percent. The report noted that in three years, smartphone subscription penetration is expected to exceed the Philippine urban population.
Ericsson said higher smartphone usage would move in sync with wider use of high-speed Internet services. LTE subscribers, it said, will grow to around 40 percent of total mobile subscriptions in the Philippines by 2018, while more than 75 percent of people in the Southeast Asia and Oceania region will have access to LTE networks by 2021.
“Our report also shows that with this high subscription penetration, in the coming years, rural areas will become more important,” Sean Gowran, Head of Ericsson Philippines and Pacific Islands, said in a statement.
“To realize the full potential for local market, service providers and device manufactures will need to address existing challenges around availability, affordability and on increasing consumers’ levels of awareness on the benefits of smartphones and mobile data,” he added.
Telecommunications companies here have cited the growing trend toward digital and Internet services. Both Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Globe Telecom have been ramping up spending to bolster data services.
The potential for growth here is also luring new players. San Miguel Corp. plans to release a powerful mobile Internet service, and is in talks with partners including Australia’s Telstra Corp. Ltd.
Meanwhile, Ericsson said wider smartphone penetration would lead to an “accelerated growth in data usage, the total mobile data traffic in the region is seen to increase 14-fold by 2021.”
It said in the Philippines, a higher percentage of consumers—or about 60 percent—are subscribing to 2.1-5 gigabyte mobile broadband plans, compared to around 40 percent in 2014.
The report also notes that of the Philippine consumers who have a mobile broadband volume package, around 40 percent use less than 50 percent of their plan allocation and 20 percent of consumers go beyond their allocation.
“The study shows that subscribers are consuming more data than ever before and that they are subscribing to larger volume packages,” Gowran said.
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