Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), PLDT’s wireless subsidiary, registered revenues of P19.8 billion in the first quarter of 2023, despite the impact of SIM registration, high inflation, and the seasonal dip in consumer spending after the Christmas holidays.
“For this quarter, there were two external factors that affected all telcos,” said Francis Flores, SVP and head of Consumer Business Group – Individual. “The first one is SIM registration, which brought about a significant reduction in new activations. The second one is record-high inflation, which hit 8.7% in January–the highest in 14 years and more than double compared to the inflation we had in the same quarter of last year.”
Despite these factors, PLDT’s wireless arm saw mobile data revenues growing by 4% to P17.0 billion as data usage per subscriber and data traffic continued to register year-on-year increases.
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“While showing some signs of easing, inflation remained elevated in February and March, and we felt that affecting our subscribers and their wallets, especially subscribers of our value brand TNT, who were more affected by these headwinds,” Flores added.
In the first quarter, mobile data traffic on Smart’s network rose 18% to 1,191 Petabytes, demonstrating increased usage among customers and improving year-on-year trends, and helping arrest the decline of revenues compared to the same period last year.
Average monthly mobile data usage per subscriber grew by 15% to 10.6 GB in the first quarter of 2023, from 9.2 GB for the full year 2022.