Huge growth in global mobile data–PLDT

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A top official of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) said that in 2012, global mobile data traffic grew by about 70 percent, or 12 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000.

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In his recent speech at the 9th Asian Carriers Conference (ACC), Napoleon Nazareno, president and chief executive officer of PLDT and Smart Communication Inc., said that, “Last year, global mobile data traffic grew 70 percent—nearly 12 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000.”

PLDT said that Internet and social media are radically altering the way people communicate, and are undermining traditional telecommunication firm services such as voice and short messaging service, or SMS. According to Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index report, 2012 was a tipping point for mobile data.

Nazareno added that, “Cisco also predicted that the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population in 2013, and due to this increased usage on smartphones, handsets will exceed 50 percent of mobile data traffic in 2013.”

“From keypads and keyboards, people are shifting to touch screens of different sizes. This transition is gathering momentum and compelling operators to look deep into themselves and ask: what do we want to be in the future?” Nazareno said.

The pursuit of a new generation of intelligent services—through which people can enjoy “connected lives”—is part of our search for an enduring future in the emerging digital world.

Mastering critical skills
PLDT said that for telcos to succeed as digital service enablers, they must master a set of critical skills that they have not excelled in before.

“I am referring specifically to partnership skills—such as the ability to manage relationships with many partners, or the flexibility to meet the needs of partners with different business models,” Nazareno added.

According to the official, “Partnership skills are vital because you need to put together many different players to make connected-life services work.”

PLDT said that it is moving in that direction. The company completed ahead of schedule of its network transformation program, fortifying its ability to deliver data services over its fixed and wireless networks.

Nazareno also said that, “But more importantly, in data which is the sunrise business of today and the future, we have likewise rationalized our business portfolio and moved toward greater involvement in the multimedia space.”

In line with the PLDT Group’s multimedia strategy, its mobile unit, Smart, has partnered with MCA, the world’s no. 1 music company to launch Smart Music, the Philippine’s biggest online music portal.

Smart is now also offering Cignal TV-to-go, which allows subscribers of CignalTV to enjoy livestreaming from selected channels on their Smart-powered mobile devices.

“Early this year, our mobile payment platform was also tapped for servicing government-mandated contributions for social security, health insurance and housing,” Nazareno said.

Soon, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), which is the power distributor in Mega Manila in which PLDT and its affiliates have a leading equity position, will offer prepaid electricity services on a pilot basis. Using smart meters and the wireless data services of Smart, Meralco will monitor the power usage of its prepaid customers and notify them before they run out of power credits.

Rosalie C. Periabras

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