Local telcos PLDT and Globe Telecom posted significant increases in wireless revenues as data uptake among consumers accelerated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
PLDT’s Consumer Wireless Business, which includes consumer sales of its Smart and TNT mobile brands, posted an all-time high of P60.8 billion in revenues for the first nine months, up 15% over the same period last year. For the third quarter alone, it took in revenues of P21 billion, also 15% higher.
“We have gained wireless market share for six consecutive quarters, and we are now number one in wireless data traffic and number one in data users,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart president and CEO.
Mobile traffic grew to 2,114 PB in the first nine months of 2020, 91% higher year-on-year, while active data users on the Smart network is now at 36.8 million as of end-September.
The group expanded its initiatives to encourage stronger data adoption and use, including the rebranding of the Sun Cellular prepaid service to Smart Prepaid. This allowed Sun Prepaid customers to have access to the GigaLife App, GIGA promos, and retailers, without the need to change their mobile numbers.
The Consumer Wireless Business also recently offered all its prepaid customers the Giga K-Video, which allows Smart prepaid subscribers to ad-free streaming and unlimited downloads of K-dramas via the VIU Premium video streaming platform.
It has likewise launched GIGA Pro, Smart’s biggest prepaid data pack for heavy data users. This follows GIGA Work and Giga Study which were launched earlier.
As for Globe, data-related revenues for the nine-month period made up 75% of total service revenues with mobile data contributing 49%; home broadband, 18%; and corporate data, 8%.
Mobile data revenues generated P53.4 billion from January to September 2020 from P52.1 billion in the same period last year as a result of the shift to more online activities.
Mobile data now accounts for 69% of mobile revenues from 63% a year ago. Mobile data traffic jumped from 1,200 petabytes in the first nine months of 2019 to 1,762 petabytes this period, or a 47% growth year-on-year.
On the other hand, home broadband posted P7.0 billion in revenues this quarter, up 28% versus the same quarter last year and 4% higher than last quarter. This allowed the home broadband business to maintain its upward momentum by posting a 22% year-on-year revenue growth to reach P19.5 billion this period, from P16.1 billion last year.
Total home broadband subscriber base now stands at over 3.4 million, up 82% from the first nine months of 2019, driven mainly by the sustained increase of fixed wireless broadband users, up by 119% from last year.
Home Prepaid Wi-Fi (HPW), likewise, increased its traction with a 226% growth in users from the same period last year. As of end-September of 2020, HPW data traffic soared to 352 petabytes from 77 petabytes in the same period of 2019.