PLDT lays groundwork for ?connected home? vision

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According to research firm IDC, households with broadband access in the country are expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3 percent over the next five years, with the number of homes with broadband reaching 2.4 million by 2016. The IDC report also shows that there will be more than 29 million devices in the hands of local consumers by 2016, or a CAGR of 16.7 percent from the 13.5 million gadgets in 2011. This boom is attributed to a variety of factors, including the steep device financial assistance offered by local providers who resell majority of new phone?models , as well as the growing array of gadgets below the P10,000 mark available in the market today. Ariel Fermin, EVP and head of PLDT Home Business, said: ?I think the consumers’ need to be connected, mostly for communication and entertainment, is the one driving the penetration of various gadgets in consumers’ lives.? IDC predicts the total number of devices, including PCs, IADs (Internet access devices) and tablets in the Philippines to reach more than 45 million by 2016. While there is a concerted effort by gadget manufacturers and operators to keep things interesting by introducing innovative offerings and more accessible price points and plans, there are some key barriers to bring down in realizing the connected home concept. For instance, local consumers now have an increasing number of digital communications and entertainment options, but few of them work well together. Each device satisfies shared, overlapping needs of individual members of the family both in and out of home. Fermin said, ?As consumers crave for [high-speed] broadband connection, there is a need for industry players to step to the plate and work toward delivering consumer expectations on user experience ? (one) that is seamless and intuitive across devices and operating systems.? Like in other countries where the more tech-savvy and affluent consumers join the bandwagon of connectivity first, manufacturers and operators are aware that future growth will come from the mainstream market. As such, operators continue to develop alternatives for the masses to enjoy digital connectivity. Fermin said the ones who appreciate this strategy are teenagers and young adults who know the value of being always connected ? anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Majority of these young ones also prefer to communicate via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in favor of the traditional e-mail messaging. Fermin said the advent of handy form-factor tablets is one of the driving reasons why PLDT?s Telpad, the world’s first landline and tablet in one, is becoming a preferred device to stay connected with friends and family, either locally or overseas. ?The concept of a Connected Home has transformed from basic connected home networks to a combination of an array of devices with compelling features, broadband-enabled services, and multifunctional set-top boxes,? Fermin added. The key to getting consumers to avail of various connectivity services in the market is always grounded on how much value these services will bring to their lives and family at home. The consumer relevance of the Connected Home, Fermin added, will largely depend on the maturity of the market in embracing a digital lifestyle and the ability of broadband to enable services through IP (Internet Protocol). ?The connected home is our vision of how individuals can easily use and enjoy their various digital content, entertainment, and communications resources,? Fermin said.]]>

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