Philippines Telecoms Industry Report 2023-2030: Recent Reforms and the Launch of a Third Mobile Operator will Bring Competition and Innovation in the Sector

Dublin, July 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Philippines Telecoms Industry Report - 2023-2030" report has been added to's offering.

The Philippines' telecommunications industry has been dominated by the PLDT-Globe duopoly over the last two decades. Recent reforms and the launch of a third mobile operator will bring competition and innovation in the sector.

Telecommunications infrastructure investments have more than tripled with the arrival of DITO Telecommunity and Converge ICT. The analyst forecasts that mobile subscriptions will continue to grow in the 2023-30 period and fixed broadband subscribers will also continue to grow strongly and increase its household penetration over the same period.

Expanded coverage, greater affordability, service improvements, increased data usage, and smartphone penetration are the main drivers of growth in the telecoms sector. The country continues to expand its fibre-optic network and 4G coverage, backed by strong investment in capital expenditure. Investment in the telecoms sector grew to its highest in 2021 with new mobile market entrant DITO Telecommunity launching that year.

The analyst expects the overall telecoms market to grow strongly through to 2030 despite the SIM registration process occurring in 2023 which will likely lead to a loss of mobile subscribers in 2023.

Capex Investments

The Capex to GDP ratio remained relatively stable between 2014 and 2018 but soared in 2019. The analyst estimates that the ratio will settle back by 2024 peaking in 2021.

Both PLDT and Globe are investing heavily in 4G and 5G with PLDT playing catch-up by investing in its network expansion while Globe refocus on its fixed broadband business after stagnating in 2021. The analyst forecasts an above-average Capex to sales ratio until 2023 while DITO Telecommunity ramps up its mobile network investments.

Mobile Subscribers and Revenue

The analyst forecasts a decline of mobile subscribers in 2023 and a strong in the fixed broadband segment. We expect that the number of mobile and broadband subscribers will continue to rise steadily to 2030 from 2024 onwards.

Mobile network operators are facing competitive pressure with the market shifting to unlimited voice and text and data allowance becoming now the sole offering differentiator.

The analyst benchmarked mobile data pricing across 8 countries in the Asia Pacific region and found that the Philippines is lagging behind in terms of data download but we expect the country to catch up as 4G coverage is accelerating and smartphone penetration is increasing especially in regional areas.

According to our benchmark study of mobile data pricing, India has the lowest rate per GB at just a few cents per GB, while Australia and China had the biggest cost reduction per GB mostly due to increased data allowance in plans while Singapore remains expensive. The Philippines pricing is on par with Thailand when benchmarked against neighboring countries.

Broadband Subscribers - FTTH Push and Fixed Wireless

The Philippines fixed broadband was very much a laggard compared to other ASEAN countries which have invested more heavily in Fibre-to-home infrastructure. PLDT's FTTH penetration is much lower than in other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, or Thailand. After initially focusing on fixed wireless access, Globe shifted its strategy back to FTTH but remains behind PLDT and Converge ICT.

Other efforts from Radius Telecom (part of Meralco) remain small in scope and so far targeting only wealthy gated communities areas of Metro Manila, other large cities, or new developments - the most significant growth after PLDT was Converge ICT which is performing very well.

Thematics - Telecoms Infrastructure / 5G / M&A / e-Commerce

The Philippines is a sleeper market for mobile infrastructure, this is largely due to the cozy monopoly enjoyed between Globe Telecom and Smart (PLDT) over the last two decades and also due to the massive red tape required for building a mobile tower.

The announcement of the third telco player ignited the market for tower sharing together with the DICT pushing a policy to build over 50,000 new towers shared across the industry, attracting a new category of infrastructure investors that were not participating in the market until now. New tower build accompanied by fiberisation of the latter will boost the country's telecoms infrastructure and will most welcome in the market after two decades of under-investments in the Philippines market.

Mobile operators and specialized towercos are rushing to sign deals but we doubt Globe and Smart will share any existing assets in a hurry unless they are forced to by the regulator. Most towercos are greenfield operations and are each planning to build about 1,000 to 5,000 towers over the next three years. A large number of new entrants with over 20 towercos signed an MoU with DICT to participate in the build of 50,00 new towers.

Most telecommunications operators are in the heavy investments phase both in fixed and mobile segments, spending heavily on upgrading their 4G network infrastructure. The analyst expects a wave of towercos consolidation in the Philippines but not before 2024-2025, as margins get squeezed further before a new Capex cycle kicks off with 6G by 2030.

Sizing, 5-year forecasts, market insights, key telecom trends, 5G, and digital infrastructure, and also features the following:

  • Overall Telecommunications Market by Major Operators
  • Telco Operators Profile, Revenue, and EBITDA Mix
  • Mobile Subscribers & Revenue Market Overview and Forecasts
  • Spectrum Holdings
  • IoT Market Overview
  • Broadband Subscribers & Revenue Market Overview and Forecasts
  • Digital Infrastructure (Fibre, Telecom Towers, Data Centres, Submarine Cables)
  • National Broadband Network Detailed Market Overview and Forecasts
  • Telecom Tower Market Analysis and Forecast
  • Thematics / Opportunities relating to 5G, M&A and e-Commerce
  • Telco M&A Transaction Database

Key Topics Covered:

1 Key Statistics
1.1 Philippines Population
1.2 Philippines' Economy
1.3 Philippines' GDP

2 Overall Telecommunications Market, 2016-2030
2.1 Market Overview
2.2 Historical Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2016-2022
2.3 Overall Telecommunications Market Forecast, 2022-2030
2.4 Telecommunications Market Capital Expenditure, 2016-2030
2.4.1 Historical Telecommunications Capex Spend, 2016-2022
2.4.2 Capex to Revenue Benchmark
2.4.3 Capex to GDP Benchmark
2.4.4 Telecommunications Capex Spend Forecast, 2022-2030

3 Telecommunications Operators Profile
3.1 PLDT Profile
3.1.1 PLDT Revenue, EBITDA, and Capex Profile
3.2 Globe Telecom Profile
3.2.1 Globe Revenue, EBITDA, and Capex Profile
3.3 Dito Telecommunity
3.3.1 DITO Revenue, EBITDA, and Capex Spend Profile, 2019-2022
3.4 Converge ICT
3.5 Other Players Profile
3.5.1 ABS-CBN
3.5.2 Other Cable Operators

4 Mobile market
4.1 Mobile Subscribers Historical and Forecast, 2016-2030
4.2 Mobile Revenue Historical and Forecast, 2016-2030
4.3 Mobile Number Portability on its way
4.4 Spectrum Holdings
4.4.1 Existing Spectrum Holdings and 5G launches
4.4.2 Upcoming 5G Auctions
4.4.3 Mobile Frequencies Portfolios Analysis
4.4.1 Spectrum Depth Benchmark by Country
4.5 Mobile Download Data and Pricing Trends
4.6 Mobile Speed Tests
4.6.1 Ookla Mobile Speed Tests
4.6.2 OpenSignal
4.7 Internet of Things (IoT)

5 Broadband Market
5.1 Fixed Broadband Subscribers Historical, 2016-2022
5.2 Fixed Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2022-2030

6 Fixed Telecommunications Infrastructure Investments
6.1 Fixed Digital Infrastructure
6.1.1 National Broadband Network Plans
6.1.2 Submarine Cables
6.1.3 FTTH - a long way to go

7 Philippines Telecom Towers Infrastructure Landscape
7.1 Philippines Telecom Towers Market Analysis, 2022
7.2 Philippines Tower Market Competitive Landscape Comparison
7.3 Philippines Telecom Towers Market Forecast
7.3.1 Philippines Telecom Towers Forecast, 2022-2030
7.3.2 Regulatory Considerations

8 Thematics / Opportunities
8.1 Consolidation Opportunities
8.2 Diversification Opportunities
8.3 New Telecoms Operating Model
8.3.1 The Attraction of Infrastructure Multiples
8.4 5G Developments
8.4.1 5G Overview
8.4.2 5G - Relative Capex Investments and Frequency Range
8.4.3 5G OpenRAN
8.4.4 Beyond 5G and Towards 6G

9 Telco Transaction Database

10 Methodology

Companies Mentioned

  • ALT Global Solutions Inc.
  • American Tower
  • Bayantel
  • Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp.
  • Converge ICT
  • DITO Telecommunity
  • Frontier Tower Associates
  • Globe Telecom
  • LCS Holdings Inc.
  • Lopez Group
  • Mislatel
  • Now Corp
  • PLDT
  • PT&T
  • Royal Cable
  • Sky Broadband
  • Sky Cable
  • Udenna
  • Unity Digital Infrastrucutre
  • Vega
  • Voyager
  • edotco

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