Smart's mobile data revenues jump 20%, boosted by migration to LTE – Telecompaper

PLDT’s mobile unit Smart Communications saw its mobile data revenues grow by 20 percent year-on-year to PHP 13.4 billion in the first half of 2018. Growth was mainly boosted by customers upgrading their SIM cards and devices to LTE. Customer migration to LTE contributed to higher data usage, with data traffic in the Smart network rising by 78 percent. Mobile data’s share in PLDT’s wireless individual revenues grew from 38 percent in mid-2017 to 45 percent in mid-2018.

Smart also reports that 57 percent of its active subscribers are now using an LTE SIM. The number of new LTE handsets in the Smart network jumped to 75 percent in the first half of the year. LTE handsets now make up a third of devices on the Smart network, surpassing the number of 3G phones.

The operator also says that, three months after the SIM upgrades, ARPU among prepaid subscribers jumped 16 percent. Smart also reports that its increasing data revenues drove the 2 percent year-on-year growth in overall wireless individual service revenues to PHP 29.9 billion in the first six months of 2018. This upswing is actually a sharp turnaround from the year-on-year decline registered in the first half of 2017, the operator also said.

As of end-June, Smart had installed more than 3,900 LTE base stations, increasing the total count by 45 percent to over 12,600. This enables Smart to improve its LTE coverage, as well as to activate LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) which offers even higher data speeds and capacity. In addition to network upgrades, Smart is also working with device manufacturers to make more LTE and LTE-A-capable devices available in the market. These network expansion and modernization efforts are supported by PLDT’s capital expenditures program for which PHP 58 billion has been earmarked for this year.

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