By Emmie V. Abadilla
PLDT Inc.’s wireless consumer business posted its 5th consecutive quarter of growth, as increased mobile data usage pushed individual service revenues to P62.5 billion, up by 7% year-on-year.
By end-2018, mobile data usage on its wireless subsidiary Smart Communication Inc.’s network had more than doubled to over 820 Petabytes compared to the previous year.
Mobile data revenues surged to P37.6 billion, representing a 62-percent jump from last year, and accounting for 60% of the wireless consumer group’s revenues.
Posting its first annual service revenues increase in several years, PLDT’s individual wireless segment also registered for the first time in years an annual increase of 2.1 million in new subscribers, many of whom are data users.
“Online video viewing—YouTube in the case of mobile, and video on demand for the fixed line—was the compelling offer that powered the strong adoption of our fixed and mobile data services,” noted Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT and Smart Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.
“As recent studies show, Filipinos are among the world’s most avid online video viewers. But that would not have been possible if PLDT and Smart had not invested heavily and worked very hard to roll out the country’s best fixed and mobile networks over the past three years,” he added.
Cited as the “take-off point” of the wireless consumer group’s turnaround journey, the YouTube promo ignited interest in video viewing among Smart, TNT and Sun customers.
Launched in April, the special offer gave an hour of free YouTube videos per day to Smart, TNT and Sun customers who bought qualified load packages.
In the six months that the promo ran, the volume of YouTube traffic in the Smart network soared to nearly 15 times the level at the start of the offer.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Smart and TNT launched new data packages with built-in “Video Everyday” content offers, spurring subscriber take-up and data usage further.