Texting is out, messaging is on.
According to Technology Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio, majority of Filipinos have switched to online chats and messenger apps from texting.
Rio cited data showing that there was a 40 percent drop in text messaging over the past three years, matching the same percentage of mobile phone users shifting to online messaging in 2016.
The shift came following the availability of 4G LTE services in the country, which allows better chat connectivity.
“Sa [With] SMS (short message service), you can only contact point-to-point, person-to-person pero dito sa (but in) social media you can actually broadcast yourself,” Rio said.
Recent studies show that Filipinos are the world’s top internet and social media users despite having one of the slowest internet speeds in the world.
The We Are Social and social media management platform Hootsuite said on its 2019: Global Digital Overview report, Filipinos spend an average of 10 hours and 2 minutes on the internet via any device each day.
This is surprising since the Philippines’ internet speed ranks as the slowest among 15 Asia-Pacific countries and 108th in the world as shown by a 2017 study.
Rio said the current average internet speed in the Philippines is at 10 mbps.
“If we are number one [internet user] with our present condition, you can image what Filipinos can do kung maganda talaga ang ating telecommunication services (if we have good telecommunications services),” he said.
Last year, the Mislatel consortium—composed of Davao tycoon Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp and Chelsey Logistics, and state-owned China Telecom—won in the bidding to become the country’s third provisional telco player in a bid to break the duopoly between PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom.
Mislatel has vowed to deliver up to 27 mbps in its first year of operations, rivaling internet speeds in Singapore.