By Emmie V. Abadilla
Strong mobile Internet revenues and mobile data traffic growth due to mobile video boosted PLDT, Inc.’s wireless consumer business by 4 percent to P45.5 billion in the first nine months of this year.
This represents a sharp upswing from the 14 percent year-on-year decline that PLDT’s wireless consumer business posted in the same period of 2017 and also marks the fourth consecutive quarter of growth for Smart, Sun and TNT.
Oscar A. Reyes Jr., Senior Vice President of Consumer Market Development for PLDT and Smart said the consumer wireless business will complete its turnaround this year, as revenues accelerate from a modest single-digit growth of 2 percent in Q1 and Q2, to high single-digit growth of +8 percent for the third quarter, which now stands at P15.6 billion in revenues, the highest in the last 8 quarters.
“Coming from the first three quarters of last year, when the business declined by P7.1 billion, this year’s performance shows an P8.8-billion positive swing in our wireless consumer business,” he added.
Wireless consumer data revenue grew to P9.5 billion in the third quarter alone, pushing data revenue contribution to a new high of 61 percent.
Higher data usage among Smart, Sun and TNT customers doubled mobile data traffic, year-on-year and boosted mobile internet revenues.
Quarter on quarter, wireless data usage has been steadily growing since the first quarter of 2017, increasing by 32 percent from last quarter.
Mobile video continued to drive data usage, as the successful YouTube promo encouraged more customers to watch video.
As a result, the number of YouTube viewers among Smart, TNT and Sun customers jumped by over six times from the start of the offer in April to October, while the volume of data traffic soared by over 13 times during the same period.
Even while offering one-hour free YouTube viewing per day, average revenue per prepaid subscriber increased by 9 percent, as customers bought qualified mobile data packs.