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Philippines Doesn't Need 3G?

While everyone else is rushing to get on the 3G bandwagon, the Philippines has decided they’re better off waiting. In fact, telcos there are saying they won’t go 3G until 2008 to 2010, when the rest of the world has already moved on. At least we’ll know where to send recycled 3G phones. Derek: The reasons, however, make perfect sense. The Philippines are a mobile phone industry anomaly. The country actually has the highest percentage of revenues derived from mobile data of any nation…around 40% if I recall. The reason is that Pinos are NUTS about SMS. Relatively poor citizens and high costs for voice have created this market. They SMS more per capita than a Finnish teen on crystal meth with two right thumbs. Pinos send an average of 200 SMSes a month per capita, and the global average is 30. Few use a phone to do voice calls. We’ve explained before that the TRUE economic motivator for many carriers to upgrade to 3G is voice efficiencies, and data is a secondary bonus. Where is the carrier motivation to upgrade when voice capacity goes unused and subscribers are already paying big margins on sending 160KB packets to each other?

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