Mobile phone penetration rate in the Philippines hit 75 percent as of end-2008, as the number of subscriber identity module, or SIM cards, sold by the country’s top three operators reached 67.9 million.
Napoleon Nazareno, president of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which owns the Smart and Talk ’N Text mobile brands, said that subscriber take-up this year would be slower than the previous years, as the penetration rate already topped 75 percent.
Ferdinand dela Cruz, head of Globe Telecom’s consumer wireless business group, also estimated the cellular phone penetration rate in the country at about 75 percent of the population as of the fourth quarter of 2008.
The PLDT group said it had 35.2 million subscribers as of December, including 20.9 million Smart subscribers and 14.3 million Talk ’N Text subscribers.
Globe Telecom said it had a total subscriber base of 24.7 million, including both Globe and Touch Mobile subscribers.
In a recent disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the third player in the mobile phone industry, Digital Telecommunications of the Gokongwei group, said it had more than eight million subscribers under the Sun Cellular network.–Roderick T. dela Cruz, Manila Standard Today