INTERNET user penetration has increased almost seven-fold from 6.5 percent to 43 percent of the global population between 2000 and 2015, according to the 2015 ICT figures released by ITU, United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communication technologies.

According to the ITU, mobile broadband is the most dynamic market segment, with penetration globally reaching 47 percent in 2015, a value that increased 12-fold since 2007. In 2015, 69 percent of the global population will be covered by 3G mobile broadband, up from 45 percent in 2011. ITU also estimates that 29 percent of the 3.4 billion people worldwide living in rural areas will be covered by 3G mobile broadband by the end of 2015.

The same report also revealed that the proportion of households with Internet access at home advanced from 18 percent in 2005 to 46 percent in 2015.

According to the 10th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2014–2019), the annual, global Internet protocol (IP) traffic will triple between 2014 and 2019, reaching a record of two zettabytes. Factors expected to drive traffic growth include the global increase in Internet users, personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, faster broadband speeds, and adoption of advanced video services.

Gaming

Cisco also predicts a marked increase in network traffic associated with game downloads. This will be driven by availability of storage capacity on gaming consoles, growth in upstream cloud traffic, and higher number of fiber connections.

Online music will be the fastest-growing residential Internet-based service with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7 percent from 2014 to 2019, growing 1.2 billion users to 1.7 billion users by 2019.

In the Philippines, local broadband service providers are also seeing the upward trend in Internet use, both while on-the-go and at home. Sustaining its stronghold in the consumer broadband segment, Globe Telecom, through its broadband brand Tattoo, posted double-digit growth in its broadband revenues and customer base to maintain its position as the fastest-growing broadband business in the country.

Local numbers

Broadband revenues stood at P3.7 billion, a 31 percent increase from the previous year’s P2.8 billion, while total subscriber base reached 3.1 million, a 41 percent growth from 2.2 million the previous year. The solid growth in revenues was driven by subscriber expansion in the wireless broadband (+47 percent), fixed broadband (+16 percent) and LTE solutions.

“Our consumer broadband business continues to play a significant role in steering the company’s solid performance the past quarter. We have taken huge strides in offering innovative broadband products and plans with the fastest Internet speeds to respond to the growing demand for internet services powered by our modernized and robust network,” says Gilbert Simpao, senior vice president for consumer broadband business at Globe.

To sustain momentum, Tattoo ventured into offering its on-the-go and home broadband plans with access to topnotch entertainment content such as Spotify, NBA League Pass, and HOOQ to offer customers a complete entertainment and broadband package. Home broadband customers can also enjoy higher monthly data volume allowances to accommodate the growing demand for Internet connectivity at home.

Globe spent around P4.9 billion in the first quarter to support the growing customer base and the demand for data. The company has already started the deployment of the $500-million LTE network, which will serve both mobile and home broadband data requirements. Globe is also seeking to build out a combined 5,000 LTE sites over the next 24 months. In addition, the recent partnership with Huawei to deliver a Single SON (self optimizing network) technology will allow an automatic diagnosis and optimization of the Globe network to continuously provide seamless customer experience. (PR)