I don’t remember when it was, maybe a year or two back, there were rumors of an Australian telco planning on entering the Philippine market. Nothing really happened and we all forgot about it. Today, I found an article about how a couple telcos are interested in investing in the Philippines again.
I really hope this is true and won’t die out like before. The Philippines can really use some competition because the market is kind of stagnant with only 2 or 3 major players (1 company might be the parent company of several companies though, so it seems like there are several competitors). If competition were to come in, it would force the telcos here right now to step up and actually compete with each other.
One area the Philippines has been struggling in has clearly been internet and mobile connections. The infrastructure is a rat’s nest, service (can we even call it that?) is slow and unreliable and pricing is absurd. I’m the type who basically uses the internet all day. Most of my friends are online and I like to talk and play games with them, so having unreliable internet sucks, but there really isn’t too much we can do about it. A lot of people now are the same, the internet is an integral part of people’s lives now, from business to entertainment, it’s being used for a lot of stuff now, but the Philippines’ internet service can barely cope with the demand.
I’m not very optimistic about this, to be honest. I know the government is aware of the issue and has been making steps toward improving internet here, but at the same time, the major companies here will also try to stonewall it I’m sure. In addition to that, the foreign companies aren’t 100% gonna invest int he Philippines. Until they announce that they will, I’ll just keep holding my breath.
Even if foreign companies come in though, it’s not really a guarantee that the service will improve, or if it does, for how long? It’s kind of a trend here, I notice, that when something new comes along, say a restaurant, for example, it will be amazing for a month or two then slowly just decline in quality. Maybe it’s the same with internet companies, who knows. We haven’t really had someone come in and revamp Philippine internet I don’t think so there’s no precedent for this stuff. For all we know they might come in and have horrible service, I hope not of course. After all, even if they do commit, that’s just the beginning, there will most likely be a lot of work that needs to be done.
From reading comments on the article, I think most people seem pessimistic about foreign companies coming in, which is understandable. Rumors from the past that didn’t end up coming true have probably left a sour taste in most people’s mouths. We’ll see how it goes I guess, hopefully, this time something comes out of it but until something actually happens, I won’t put any hope only for it to be washed away. I’d rather be happily surprised rather than disappointed.
Just a quick addition. The founder of Alibaba (Jack Ma), a huge company in China, recently visited the Philippines and said the internet sucks even though he’s partners with Globe. Because of his comments and a meeting with the president, I guess the president is telling the service providers to step up and have better service. Hopefully, this helps and the ISPs actually start giving better service.