Era of affordable internet in the Philippines is on the horizon


As of 2022, there were 5.3 billion Internet users worldwide, and this number is projected to rise to about 6 billion this year. Every time you search on Google, you’re contributing to the massive global data pool, which currently sees a staggering 328.77 million terabytes of data being generated daily.

This includes new data, captured information, copies, and consumed content.

While comprehending these numbers can be challenging, recent data reveals that Google alone processes over 99,000 searches per second. This translates to more than 8.5 billion searches every day (Internet Live Stats, 2022).

In the Philippines, with a population of 111.8 million as of January 2022, the country had 76.01 million Internet users. Facebook boasted 83.85 million users, while YouTube had 56.50 million, Instagram had 18.65 million, TikTok had 35.96 million users aged 18 and above, LinkedIn had 11 million members, Snapchat had 10.60 million users, and Twitter had 10.50 million users in the Philippines during the same period.

GSMA Intelligence data showed an astonishing 156.5 million cellular mobile connections in the country at the beginning of 2022, surpassing 140 percent of the total population!

With this immense exchange of terabytes of data and information daily, the need for larger data centers has never been greater. The Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary, Ivan John E. Uy, predicts a fivefold increase in data center capacity in the Philippines over the next five years.

Numerous projects are underway to manage this surging data volume. For instance, PLDT is considering Greater Metro Manila (GMM) as the potential site for its 12th data center, planned to have a capacity of at least 100 megawatts, according to ePLDT Inc., the company’s data center arm.

“Our main requirements are to be far from the fault line and to have access to reliable and adequate power. We have several places to choose from, and I think this will be in GMM”, stated ePLDT Inc. President and CEO, Victor S. Genuino. GMM encompasses all cities in Metro Manila and some cities in Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

PLDT and ePLDT have been investing in both international and domestic infrastructure, including cable systems, 5G networks, and data centers. Their goal is to expand their current data center market share of 65 percent and position the Philippines as the regional hyperscaler hub in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The National Telecommunications Commission has granted PLDT provisional authority to construct two new cable-landing stations in the country, hosting the 12,000-kilometer-long Apricot cable system, which will link the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Guam.

PLDT’s wireless unit, Smart Communications, recently announced its plans to regain mobile market leadership after the SIM card registration narrowed the market share gap with competitor Globe Telecom Inc. PLDT and Smart President and CEO, Alfredo S. Panlilio, expressed their intention to achieve this by offering “better products” tailored to the market’s needs.

Post the July 25 deadline and a five-day grace period for SIM registration, Smart witnessed nearly 80 percent of its users complying, totaling 52.5 million, which was 1.2 million fewer than Globe’s 53.7 million. Before this, Globe had 84.75 million SIM cards, significantly more than Smart’s 66.3 million.

Panlilio revealed that PLDT is in advanced talks with the US-based Radisys Corporation, a global leader in open telecom solutions, to explore building and launching cutting-edge digital experiences for Filipinos.

“As part of PLDT’s purpose to inspire innovation and our mission to deliver meaningful connections for all our customers, we look forward to closely working with Radisys to help us usher in more immersive and exciting digital experiences for tech-savvy Filipinos as we look into the future,” said Panlilio.

The prospects for the Philippine’s Internet infrastructure are brightening. It’s encouraging to see that telecom companies recognize the need for increased Internet speed and reliable connections. If they can offer comprehensive services, such as PLDT’s upcoming “immersive and exciting digital experiences,” at a reasonable price, then the days of slow, unreliable, and expensive Internet in the Philippines may soon be behind us. Fingers crossed for a more promising Internet era in the Philippines.


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