Smart, Piltel report three million net adds in 1H, but slowdown setting in

7 Jul 2008

Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT’s) mobile units Smart Communications and Pilipino Telephone Corp (Piltel) controlled a combined ‘33 million users’ by the end of June, up three million since the start of the year, according to a report in the Business Mirror newspaper. The paper quotes a reliable source at the company for the figures, adding that PLDT expects to see a slowdown in subscriber growth in the coming months due to the increasingly difficult domestic economy, and higher inflation driven by rising fuel prices. Wireless penetration hit 66% at the end of 2007, up from 49.5% the previous year fuelled by a yearly growth rate of 33.6%. However, local industry watchers are predicting the growth rate to contract as harder times set in. Commenting on the situation, PLDT’s CEO and chairman Manuel Pangilinan said ‘It is important to appreciate how colossal a problem this oil crisis really is, and what its impact could be on PLDT,’ while the company’s president Napoleon Nazareno added, ‘We face the rest of the year with rising inflation threatening to reduce our revenues and increase our costs.’