Filipinos are seen to enjoy faster Internet speed averaging 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) on their mobile phones, or up to five times the current speed within the next 18 months, as dominant telecommunications players PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. will likely deliver faster connections to aggressively defend their market shares even before the third telco player starts operation.
“Competition can create wonders. We should soon be where South Korea is now in terms of average mobile Internet connection speed, with the Mislatel consortium in play,” Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said.
In a research note, online stockbroker COL Financial Group Inc. said the Mislatel consortium “has the financial muscle to execute its plan and will most likely engage in a price war (with PLDT and Globe) to grab market share.”
“Deep pockets” would enable Mislatel “to operate at a loss for a long period,” COL said, adding that the consortium’s foreign partner, China Telecom Corp., “generated the equivalent of P146 billion in profits in 2017.”
“We reckon that PLDT and Globe may each have to spend up to P65 billion every year starting 2019 to stay ahead and quickly build up their capacities to supply superior Internet connections,” Campos added.
Mislatel’s pledge to invest at least P50 billion yearly to put up its own network, the industry is looking at up to P180 billion in combined annual capital spending from the three players to advance the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure.
The incoming telco player has committed to invest an aggregate of P257 billion between 2019 to 2023, and to deliver a minimum average Internet connection speed of 27 Mbps in its first year of operation and 55 Mbps by the fifth year.
“Once Mislatel starts offering its services in Metro Manila, consumers could end up shifting subscriptions every now and then, depending on which of the three players provides the best Internet connection in terms of speed and price,” he said.
The consortium expects to provide network coverage to 84 percent of the population by the fifth year.
Campos has been batting for the reclassification of Internet access as a “basic telecommunications service” so that regulators may compel suppliers to provide rising connection speeds under pain of severe punitive fines.