Netflix entry to perk up internet industry

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The two largest digital and telecommunications service providers in the country are expecting to see a boost in data and digital subscriber line (DSL) demand with the arrival of Netflix Inc., a US-based provider of on-demand Internet streaming media.

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On Wednesday, Netflix announced that it would be tripling its coverage across the globe, as it adds 130 more countries to its roster.

Netflix will be made available in 190 countries, including the Philippines, Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Philippine Long Distance Company (PLDT) and Globe Telecom (Globe), the country’s major telecommunications companies that offer services similar to Netflix’s said the arrival of the American internet-based entertainment provider would stimulate their data and internet sales.

“The enhanced availability of Netflix in the Philippines is likely to stimulate greater consumer interest in video-streaming services,” Ramon Isberto, head of PLDT public affairs, said in a text message to reporters.   “This adds to the growing range of compelling content that people can easily access through the extensive and robust line and wireless networks of PLDT and Smart.”

PLDT offers its subscribers a wide range of digital services including mobile data, broadband internet, fiber optic powered broadband.

For their part, Globe said it also sees a significant boost in customer demand for internet services.

“Globe Telecom is gearing up for the arrival of internet television network Netflix in the Philippines with its roster of home broadband plans, which come with free access to Chromecast, allowing customers to enjoy Netflix from any mobile device to a bigger screen,” Globe said in a statement.

“Netflix finally lands on Philippine shores and we at Globe are committed to continue enabling the digital lifestyle of our customers with our portfolio of home broadband plans, which offer fast and consistent broadband internet connectivity, as well as access to Chromecast for a better and more inclusive viewing experience at home,” shares Dan Horan, Senior Advisor for Consumer Business at Globe.

Meanwhile, iFlix, the PLDT group’s online entertainment streaming service, said iFlix is focusing on improving the content it offers its subscribers, a strategy they employ to keep up with the competition in the industry.

“We are obsessively focused on the unique challenges of emerging markets, whether it be pricing, payments, infrastructure challenges, cultural preferences, or local programming and language. We will continue to provide the broadest most relevant selection of content for the local consumers at a price that everyone can afford,” iFlix country manager in the Philippines Sherwin dela Cruz said in an email response to The Manila Times.

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