Smart Communications Inc. said revenues of its mobile data business rose 26 percent to P25.5 billion in 2016 from P20.2 billion in 2015, boosted by attractive data offers and affordable smartphones.
Mobile internet revenues set the pace, rising 42 percent year-on-year to P17 billion.
“The shift to data and digital services continues to gain momentum. With access to PLDT’s extensive fixed line network, Smart is rolling out the country’s fastest mobile internet network to address the growing demand of our subscribers for data services at home, their schools and offices and while on the go,” said PLDT executive vice president and chief revenue officer Eric Alberto.
Data revenues accounted for a third of the wireless business’ revenue mix last year from 25 percent in 2015.
The mobile data business for the first time edged out voice calls and text messaging as the largest revenue source for the wireless business
Mobile data usage also improved to 148,000 terabytes last year, 49 percent higher than the 2015 figure.
“The steep rise in mobile data traffic highlights the popularity of data usage as well as the huge potential to grow mobile data revenues, particularly mobile internet revenues,” Alberto said.
To support the rapidly increasing data traffic, Smart accelerated its rollout of LTE and 3G data networks under a three-year program that includes the use of low-band frequencies, such as 700 Mhz for high-speed LTE services.
The network rollout program has been completed in Metro Davao where Smart subscribers now consistently enjoy average data download speeds of over 20 Mbps. The LTE upgrade is now underway in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, where similar dramatic improvements in data speeds are being experienced in areas where new LTE facilities have already been installed.