Smart mobile data usage doubles amid increased video viewing, network upgrades

March 17, 2019

PLDT’s wireless consumer business posted its fifth consecutive quarter of growth, as increased mobile data usage pushed individual service revenues to P62.5 billion, up by  seven percent year-on-year.

By end-2018, mobile data usage on Smart’s network had more than doubled to over 820 Petabytes compared to the previous year. Mobile data revenues surged to P37.6 billion, representing a 62-percent jump from last year, and accounting for 60% of the wireless consumer group’s revenues.

Posting its first annual service revenues increase in several years, PLDT’s individual wireless segment also registered for the first time in years an annual increase of 2.1 million in new subscribers, many of whom are data users.

“Online video viewing -- YouTube in the case of mobile, and video on demand for the fixed line -- was the compelling offer that powered the strong adoption of our fixed and mobile data services,” PLDT and Smart Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Ernesto R. Alberto said.

“As recent studies show, Filipinos are among the world’s most avid online video viewers. But that would not have been possible if PLDT and Smart had not invested heavily and worked very hard to roll out the country’s best fixed and mobile networks over the past three years,” Alberto added.

To support the heightened mobile data demand, Smart also increased the number of its LTE base stations by over 86% year-on-year to about 16,200 as of end-2018, while the number of 3G base stations on its network also increased by 17% to about 11,500. This massive deployment has enabled Smart to provide mobile broadband in at least 90% of the country’s cities and municipalities.

At the same time, Smart has also raised the pace of deployment of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which offers even faster mobile data speeds through carrier aggregation.  About 70% of LTE-equipped sites across the country are already on LTE-A.