Smartphone use in PH to hit 70% by 2018

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SMARTPHONE penetration in the Philippines is expected to reach 70 percent by 2018 while LTE subscriptions are seen to hit 40 percent around that time, according to the last Ericsson Mobility Report.

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The Ericsson Mobility Report is one of the leading analyses of mobile network data traffic and provides insights into the current mobile network data traffic and market trends, applicable to both consumers and enterprises.

“This year, smartphone subscription penetration for the country is estimated at around 40 percent and we see this growing to around 70 percent by 2018,” Sean Growan head of Ericsson said.

UN data shows that the urban population of the country is at the 44 percent level, so it can be expected that by 2018, smartphone subscription penetration will exceed the urban population, Growan said.

“Our report also shows that with this high subscription penetration, in the coming years, rural areas will become more important. To realize the full potential for the local market, service providers and device manufactures will need to address existing challenges around availability, affordability and on increasing consumers’ levels of awareness on the benefits of smartphones and mobile data,” Growan said.

The report said that with the increase of smartphones and the accelerated growth in data usage, the total mobile data traffic in the region is seen to increase 14-fold by 2021.

More consumers are also migrating to higher data volume packages. In 2015, 40 percent of consumers in this region are subscribing to 2.1-5GB mobile broadband plans, compared to 30 percent in 2014.

However, in the Philippines, almost 60 percent are subscribing to 2.1-5GB mobile broadband plans, compared to around 40 percent in 2014.

It was underscored in the report that of the Philippine consumers who have a mobile broadband volume package, around 40 percent utilize less than 50 percent of their plan allocation and 20 percent of consumers use more than 100 percent of their allocation.

“The study shows that subscribers are consuming more data than ever before and that they are subscribing to larger volume packages. We expect that consumers who underutilize their subscription packages will have a lower perception on the value for money of the package from the service provider,” Growan said.

He added: “The challenge is that this may lead to churn. This signals an opportunity for operators to reduce churn proactively, recommending the best packages that match their subscribers’ usage pattern.”

The South East Asia and Oceania Regional Ericsson Mobility Report also states that the countries in the region with the best network performance are Australia and Singapore, due to their leadership in deploying LTE and LTE Advanced.

Ericsson analysis shows that data-intensive applications, such as HD video streaming, could easily be delivered by mobile networks in Singapore and Australia across the whole coverage area. LTE carrier aggregation in Australia has enabled possible peak download speeds of up to 600 Mbps.

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