Philippines Telecoms Industry Report – 2019-2025


This report provides analyses of revenue and market forecasts as well as statistics of the Philippines telecoms industry including market sizing, 5-year forecasts, market insights, key telecom trends and also features the following:

  • Overall Telecommunications Market by Major Operators
  • Telco Operators Profile, Revenue and EBITDA Mix
  • Mobile Subscribers & Revenue Market Overview and Forecasts
  • Spectrum Holdings
  • IoT Market Overview
  • Broadband Subscribers & Revenue Market Overview and Forecasts
  • National Broadband Network Detailed Market Overview and Forecasts
  • Thematics / Opportunities relating to 5G, M&A and e-Commerce
  • Telco Infrastructure Review
  • Telco Transaction Database

About this report:
Pages: 62
Author: Landry Fevre
Publication Date: December 2019



  • Benefit from the latest market opportunities
  • Understand the threats to your operations and investments and protect your company against future risks
  • Gain insight on emerging trends that could support, strengthen or disrupt your activities in the market
  • Get a full view of the competitive landscape to assess your market position.
  • Forecasts as a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the telecoms market
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the telecoms sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Operators Profiles.

The Philippines Telecommunications Industry Report, 2019-2025 includes an overview of the Philippines market dynamics, market sizing, market forecasts, analysis, insights and key trends.


Philippines Telecoms Industry Analysis Report at a Glance
The Philippines’s telecommunications industry has been dominated by the PLDT-Globe duopoly over the last two decades. Telecommunications infrastructure investments have been underwhelming while recent reforms and the launch of a third mobile operator will bring competition and innovation in the sector.

Idem Est Research forecasts that mobile subscriptions will continue to grow strongly in the 2019-25 period and fixed broadband subscribers will also continue to grow and increase its household penetration over the same period. The ratio of the telecommunications sector revenue to GDP is declining from a peak in 2005, sliding down every year since then.

Expanded coverage, greater affordability, service improvements, increased data usage and smartphone penetration are the main drivers of growth in the telecoms sector. The country continues to expand its fibre-optic network and 4G coverage, backed by strong investment in capital expenditure. Investment in the telecoms sector is growing to its highest in 2019 with a peak expected in 2020 with new mobile market entrant DITO Telecommunity due to launch that year.

Mobile subscribers numbers are growing strongly and the back of population growth, increasing affordability and new regulation lengthening the prepaid load expiry dates to 12 months.

Idem Est Research expects the overall telecoms market to grow strongly through to 2025 after a marked slow down in 2016 and 2017 due to legacy voice and SMS revenue pressure partially offset by mobile data growth.

Capex Investments
The Capex to GDP ratio remained relatively stable between 2014 and 2018 but soared in 2019. Idem Est Research estimates that the ratio will settle back by 2023 peaking in 2020. Both PLDT and Globe are investing heavily in 4G with PLDT playing catch-up by investing in its 4G network expansion while Globe launched its 5G fixed wireless service. Idem Est Research forecasts an above-average Capex to sales ratio until 2022 while DITO Telecommunity ramps up its mobile network investments.

Mobile Subscribers and Revenue
Idem Est Research forecasts strong growth in subscribers in 2019 and 2020 while the rebasing of mobile subscribers reporting is taking place with the NTC requirement that all the prepaid load expiry be set to 12 months. We expect that the number of mobile phone subscribers will continue to rise steadily to 2025.

Mobile network operators are facing competitive pressure with the market shifting to unlimited voice and text and data allowance increasingly becoming the sole offering differentiator.

Idem Est Research benchmarked mobile data pricing across 8 countries in the Asia Pacific region and found that the Philippines is lagging behind in terms of data download but we expect the country to catch up as 4G coverage is accelerating and smartphone penetration is increasing especially in regional areas.

According to our benchmark study of mobile data pricing, India has the lowest rate per GB at just a few cents per GB, while Australia and China had the biggest cost reduction per GB mostly due to increased data allowance in plans while Singapore remains expensive. The Philippines pricing is on par with Thailand when benchmarked against neighbouring countries.

Broadband Subscribers – FTTH Push and Fixed Wireless
The Philippines fixed broadband is very much a laggard compared to other ASEAN countries which have invested more heavily in Fibre-to-home infrastructure. PLDT’s FTTH penetration is much lower than in other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand. Globe’s efforts have turned to fixed wireless access which is not likely to fulfil customer’s appetite for video long-term. Other efforts from ABS-CBN with Sky Broadband and Converge ICT remain small in scope and so far targeting only wealthy gated communities areas of Metro Manila, other large cities or new developments.

ThematicsTelecoms Infrastructure / 5G / M&A / e-Commerce
The Philippines is a sleeper market for mobile infrastructure, this is largely due to the cosy monopoly enjoyed between Globe Telecom and Smart (PLDT) over the last two decades and also due to the massive red tape required for building a mobile tower. The announcement of the third telco player ignited the market for tower sharing together with the DICT pushing a policy to build over 50,000 new towers shared across the industry, attracting a new category of infrastructure investors that were not participating in the market until now. New tower-build accompanied by fiberisation of the latter will boost the country’s telecoms infrastructure and will most welcome in the market after two decades of under-investments in the Philippines market.

Mobile operators and specialised towercos are rushing to sign deals but we doubt Globe and Smart will share any existing assets in a hurry unless they are forced to by the regulator.

The Philippines has one of the lowest ratios of mobile towers per capita and highest numbers subscribers per base transceiver stations (BTS) in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

Investment funds are assigning high valuation multiples to telecommunications infrastructure assets such as mobile towers, data centres, submarine cable and fibre infrastructure. This report outlines some real market examples of how investors view and value these investments with industry examples and EV/EBITDA comparatives and benchmarks.

Most telecommunications operators are in heavy investments phase both in fixed and mobile segments, spending heavily upgrading their 4G network infrastructure. Idem Est Research expects a wave of consolidation in the Philippines but not before 2022-2023, as margins get squeezed further and a new Capex cycle kicking with 5G.

The arrival of 4G moved the Internet off our desktops into our palms and pockets, 5G could transform the network from something we carry around to something taking us around either virtually (augmented reality or virtual reality) or in reality (autonomous vehicles), the 5G outcome and benefits beyond fast connectivity remain largely unknown in terms of business models, investments required and timeline.

The increase in smartphone penetration made possible by the availability of low-cost devices has triggered growth in e-commerce, tapping into the potential of the Philippines’s emerging middle class with relatively high disposable income. Grab, Lazada, Shopee and Zalora are leading the pack with e-commerce, ride-sharing and mobile payments.


ABS-CBN, Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc, ALT Global Solutions Inc., American Tower, Bayantel, Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Converge ICT, DITO, edotco, Frontier Tower Associates, Globe, Islacom, LCS Holdings Inc., Lopez Group, Mislatel, Mynt, Now Corp, Piltel, PLDT, PT&T, Udenna, Sky Cable, Sky Broadband, Sun Cellular, Vega, Voyager.

Philippines Telecoms Industry Report – Table of Contents

1       Key Statistics
1.1        Philippines Population
1.2        Philippines Households
1.3        Philippines’ GDP

2       Overall Telecommunications Market, 2014–2025
2.1        Market Overview
2.2        Historical Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2014-2018
2.3        Overall Telecommunications Market Forecast, 2018-2025
2.4        Telecommunications Market Capital Expenditure, 2014-2025
2.4.1      Historical Telecommunications Capex Spend, 2014-2019
2.4.2      Capex to Revenue Benchmark
2.4.3      Telecommunications Capex Spend Forecast, 2018-2025

3       Telecommunications Operators Profile
3.1        PLDT Profile
3.1.1      PLDT Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.2        Globe Telecom Profile
3.2.1      Globe Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.3        Dito Telecommunity
3.3.1      DITO Capex Spend Profile, 2019-2023
3.4        Other Players Profile
3.4.1      ABS-CBN
3.4.1      Converge ICT

4       Mobile market
4.1        Mobile Subscribers Historical and Forecast, 2014-2025
4.1.1      Mobile Subscribers Historical, 2014-2019
4.1.2      Mobile Subscribers Market Share, 2014-2019
4.1.3      Breaking the Duopoly
4.1.4      Philippines Smartphone Share, 2019
4.1.5      Philippines Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2019-2025
4.2        Mobile Revenue Historical and Forecast, 2014-2025
4.2.1      Historical Mobile Revenue, 2014-2018
4.2.1      Mobile Revenue Market Share, 2014-2019
4.2.2      Mobile Revenue Forecast, 2018–2025
4.2.3      Mobile Subscribers ARPU, 2014-2019
4.3        Spectrum Holdings
4.3.1      Existing Spectrum Holdings and 5G Trials
4.3.2      Upcoming 5G Auctions
4.3.3      Mobile Frequencies Portfolios Analysis
4.4        Mobile Download Data and Pricing Trends
4.5        Mobile Speed Tests
4.5.1      Ookla Mobile Speed Tests
4.5.2      OpenSignal
4.6        Internet of Things (IoT)

5       Broadband Market
5.1        Fixed Broadband Subscribers Historical, 2014-2019
5.2        Fixed Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2018-2025

6       Telecommunications Infrastructure Investments
6.1        Fixed Infrastructure
6.1.1      National Broadband Network Plans
6.1.2      Submarine Cables
6.1.3      FTTH – a long way to go
6.2        Mobile Tower Infrastructure Landscape
6.2.1      The tower next frontier
6.2.2      Mobile Tower Market Share, 2019

7       Thematics / Opportunities
7.1        Going for Scale
7.2        Going for Scope
7.3        New Telco Operating Model
7.3.1      The Attraction of Infrastructure Multiples
7.4        5G versus Fixed
7.4.1      5G Overview
7.4.2      Fixed Broadband Networks Doing the Heavy Lifting Long Term

8       Telco Transaction Database

9       Methodology

10     Copyright Notice

Philippines Telecoms Industry Report – List of Figures

Figure 1 – Telco sector revenue as % of GDP in the Philippines
Figure 2 – Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2018
Figure 3 – Telecommunications Market EBITDA, 2018\
Figure 4 – Telecommunications Revenue & EBITDA Share, 2018
Figure 5 – Capex to Revenue Benchmark, 2014-2019
Figure 6 – Telecommunications Capital & Operational Expenditure Spend, 2000-2025
Figure 7 – PLDT Service Revenue Mix, 2014-2018
Figure 8 – PLDT Historical Revenue Mix, 2014 – 2018 (PHP m)
Figure 9 – Globe Revenue Mix, 2014-2018
Figure 10 – Globe Historical Revenue Mix, 2014 – 2018
Figure 11 – DITO Expected Capex Spend Distribution, 2019-2023
Figure 12 – Mobile Subscribers Share Comparison, 2014-2019
Figure 13 – Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2018-2025
Figure 14 – Mobile Subscribers Share Comparison, 2014-2018
Figure 15 – Mobile Revenue Forecast, 2018-2025
Figure 16 – Mobile Subscribers ARPU, 2014-2019
Figure 17 –Mobile Handsets Monthly Download Data, 2010-2019
Figure 18 – Data Pricing Trends in Asia-Pacific (US$ per GB per month), 2017-2019
Figure 19 – Ookla Mobile Speedtest Ranking Comparison
Figure 20 – Spectrum available for IoT in the Philippines
Figure 21 – Broadband Subscribers Share Comparison, 2014-2019
Figure 22 – Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2018-2025
Figure 23 – Tower per Capita, 2019
Figure 24 – Indonesia/Philippines – 4G Base Transceiver Station Rollout by Operators, 2015-2019
Figure 25 – Estimated Tower Market Share, 2019
Figure 26 – 5G Network Slices Structure
Figure 27 – Australia – Volume of Data Downloaded (Terabytes/month), 2010-2019

Philippines Telecoms Industry Report – List of Tables

Table 1 – Philippines – Key Statistics
Table 2 – Telecommunications Market Revenue by Operators
Table 3 – Total Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2019-2025
Table 4 – Historical Telecommunications Capex Spend, 2014-2019
Table 5 – Historical PLDT Service Revenue, EBITDA & Capex, 2014-2018
Table 6 – Globe Service Revenue and EBITDA Mix, 2014-2018
Table 7 – DITO Telecommunity Capex Investment Profile, 2019-2025
Table 8 – Historical Mobile Subscribers, 2014-2019
Table 9 – Historical Mobile Service Revenue, 2014-2018
Table 10 – Historical Mobile ARPU, 2014-2019
Table 11 – Mobile Frequencies by Operators and by Band (Mhz)
Table 12 – Historical Broadband Subscribers, 2014-2019
Table 13 – Historical Broadband ARPU, 2014-2019
Table 14 – International Submarine Cable Systems with Landing stations in the Philippines
Table 15 – 4G Mobile Coverage & 4G Base Station Transceiver Count, 2014-2019
Table 16 – PL, Globe and DITO Telco Infrastructure Landscape
Table 17 – Technology Specifications (ADSL, FTTN, Fibre, 4G/LTE, 4G/LTE-A and 5G)
Table 18 – Australia – Volume of Data Downloaded Mix (Terabytes/month), 2010-2019
Table 19 – Telco Transaction Database, 2001-2019

Other Idem Est Research Telecoms Country Reports

Australia, China, India, Indonesia, JapanNew ZealandPhilippines, Malaysia, South Korea, TaiwanThailand, Vietnam

Telecoms Country Report


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