Glenn Smith
Jun 16, 2010

Filipino mobile market rocks to its own ringtone

Handsets holds sway over service providers for a population that is still more inclined to text than to talk.

People power still rules mobile in the Philippines where the two dominant providers, Smart and Globe, regularly introduce new services to boost average revenue per user ARPU only to see their initiatives circumvented and retrofitted by the archipelago’s poorest demographic.

Famously, SMS was used in 2001 to rally Manila protesters who helped oust then President Joseph Estrada from office. Later, inexpensive prepaid mobile cards spoiled sales of more profitable postpaid landline and mobile subscriptions. Frugal Filipinos also pioneered the use...

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