In April, W.Media reported that due to COVID-19, the Philippines’ newest telecom company, DITO Telecommunity, was forced to delay its launch due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The fixed-line market in the Philippines is said to be underdeveloped with low penetration in the broadband market due to low investment in digital infrastructure and rapid development of mobile technologies.
But today, the Philippines could still see a silver lining in spite of difficult circumstances, as interest in improving digital infrastructures and building new data centers is rising.
Two of the largest telecom companies, PDLT and Globe Telecom, are making continual moves to upgrade existing infrastructure.
PDLT will continue to accelerate its network modernisation program, shifting from copper to fibre, and their subsidiary Smart Communications teamed up with Google to deploy Wi-Fi hubs across the country.
Smart and Globe have also pledged to participate in network sharing with DITO, signalling a willingness to speed up network rollouts like 5G and break up the long-standing duopoly held by PDLT and Globe.
DITO’s entrance to the Filipino market held similar ambitions, which is why it is also predicted that market competition in the country is expected to intensify from 2021, less than four months away.
In other exciting news, a new subsea cable, JUPITER, that links the Philippines with Japan and the U.S. has gained approval from the U.S. government and will be completed by 2021.
However, the pandemic crisis has left its mark on the telecom industry, with supply chains halted and job cuts slowing down construction of infrastructures, postponing the rollout of 5G and halting consumer demand for services.
As to how Filipino consumers would respond to market competition, a reduced but steady and positive growth is predicted. This is because COVID-19 has proven that access to general communication is crucial to live life under the ‘new normal’ where technology is needed to support home-working.
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