A recent study by a UK-based technology website ranked the Philippines 60th out of the 228 countries with the least expensive rate for 1GB mobile data.
According to cable.co.uk, the average cost of 1GB of mobile in the country is around USD1.42 based on samples collected in February 2020.
The top five countries with the cheapest mobile data services per 1GB are India, USD0.09; Israel, USD0.11; Kyrgyzstan, USD0.21; Italy, USD0.43; and Ukraine, USD0.46, the study showed.
In Southeast Asia, the Philippines ranked 6th after Vietnam, USD0.57; Indonesia, USD0.64; Myanmar, USD0.78; Malaysia, USD1.12; and Thailand, USD1.23 in terms of mobile data affordability.
Consumer telecoms analyst Dan Howdle of cable.co.uk attributes the low cost of mobile data to the following:
Excellent mobile and fixed broadband infrastructures that enable providers to offer large amounts of data and bring down the price per gigabyte
Less advanced broadband networks that are dependent on mobile data and the economy dictates that prices must be low to make it affordable to consumers.
The top five countries with the most expensive mobile data per 1GB are Saint Helena, US52.50; Falkland Islands, USD40.41; Nauru, USD30.47; Bermuda, USD28.75; and São Tomé and Príncipe, USD28.26—areas where infrastructure are not great and the consumption are small.
The Philippines is expecting further improvement in the mobile and internet experience in the country with the massive investments from the three major service providers in the country.
Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba of the National Telecommunications Commission has previously told a budget hearing in the Senate that Globe Telecoms and Smart have poured in as much as USD1.6 billion and PHP70 billion, respectively, to improve their capacity and coverage in the face of increasing demand for internet access and connectivity.
The entry of the country’s third telco, DITO Telecommunity, is also expected to boost services as it poised to join the race of the two dominant for a better and reliable internet connection.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology said the current internet speed is expected to increase to 55 Mbps by July 2021 with the entry of DITO.