Prices of mobile cellular and broadband services in the Philippines fell nearly 70 percent in 2016 from the previous year, according to the latest report released by the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations agency that coordinates telecommunication operations and services throughout the world.
ITU said in a two-volume report that the Philippines’ mobile cellular prices, or the average cost of 100 SMS and 30 mobile calls per month, represented 3.2 percent of the country’s average monthly gross national income per capita in 2016, down from 3.42 percent the previous year.
The 2016 figure was also at par with the Asia and the Pacific region’s average of 3.2 percent and well below the world average of 5.2 percent.
The ITU report also said that fixed broadband prices, or monthly subscription to an entry-level fixed-broadband plan, based on a monthly data usage of 1 GB minimum, represented 7.1 percent of GNI per capita, down from 7.53 percent in 2015.
This figure was also below the regional average of 14.5 percent and the global average of 13.9 percent.
Mobile broadband prices for 500 MB and 1GB worth of data each made up 2.1 percent of the GNI per capita. Both figures were lower than the Asia Pacific average of 2.7 percent and 5.4 percent respectively, and the world average of 3.7 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.
Between 2015 and 2016, mobile-broadband services for 1GB data in particular became more affordable, dropping 4.64-percentage-points from 6.74 percent to 2.1 percent.
This means that for every P100 in monthly GNI, every Filipino spent only P3.20 in mobile-cellular services, P7.10 in fixed broadband service, and P2.10 for either 500MB or 1GB data in mobile-broadband.
GNI per capita in the Philippines was at $3,580 in 2016, comparable to neighbor Indonesia’s $3,400 in the same year.
Compared to Indonesia, which is also an archipelagic country, the Philippines’ mobile-cellular and fixed-broadband prices as percentage of GNI per capita were more affordable than Indonesia’s 3.3 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively, while mobile-broadband prices for 1GB data in the two countries were almost the same (2.1 percent vs 2 percent).