Smart Communications (Smart), reported a sharp increase in mobile data usage among its subscribers during the first six months of the year, attributing this spike to their free Internet promo, additional content, improved service offerings, and the overall growth of the local smartphone industry.
Specifically, Smart experienced a 170-percent surge in data traffic over the same period last year. “This ‘data explosion’ started when we introduced our free Internet promo last year which aimed to give our subscribers an opportunity to try out various Internet and digital services,” said Ariel Fermin, executive vice president and head of consumer business at Smart. “We see this trend continuing for the remainder of the year as we introduce more engaging content and digital services coupled with very affordable data service bundles that bring in added revenues for the mobile group.”
These new offerings include free Instagram for Smart customers and free Facebook for Sun subscribers. Fermin commented that these give Filipinos more ways to communicate with their family and friends, while also contributing to Smart’s 2015 data revenues. Earlier this year, PLDT announced that mobile data revenues from its telco subsidiaries increased by 21-percent to PHP 4.7 billion during the first half of the year.
To further increase its competitiveness, PLDT has already committed USD 100-million in addition to the PHP 43-billion in CAPEX this year to attain and co-develop services that will give customers an even better digital experience.
“The good news is we have already started stimulating usage among our subscriber base with breakthrough partnerships with the likes of Fox and iflix for mobile entertainment. Consumers can definitely expect more exciting partnerships in the coming months that will give them more opportunities to be digitally connected wherever they may be,” Fermin added.
Internet TV streaming service iflix currently has over 150,000 subscribers in the three months it’s been operational. This was followed by a strategic partnership with Fox International Channels to offer live TV and soon, subscription video-on-demand and catch-up TV from Fox’s vast catalogue.
Fermin added that they’re highly anticipating the influx of customers due to these services and rising smartphone penetration. “To respond to this growth, we have already started designing both our postpaid and prepaid offers in ways that allow our subscribers to access digital services in a more convenient and affordable way,” he said.