Sunday, April 24, 2005

New GSA chief lauds RP's mobile communications growth

By Alexander Villafania

The Philippine mobile communications industry continues to be the best growth model in Asia as its subscriber base gradually increases and new SMS based services fully utilize the GSM (global system for mobile communications), says the newly appointed Chairman of the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) Asia-Pacific Chapter.
Anders Kager, also Nokia's regional marketing director, noted that the Philippines' subscriber growth was the highest in Southeast Asia with 32.7 million subscribers last year.

In a recent visit to the Philippines, he lauded the Philippines' ingenious SMS products such as phone credit sharing a.k.a. Smart Communications' ‘Pasaload’ and overseas remittance service a.k.a. Globe Telecom's “G-Cash.”

Kager noted that demand for these services fuels economic growth, “The effects of such economic activities go along way down the line in terms of providing employment, raising income levels, and uplifting living standards.”

He further said that the Philippines, by addressing unique local needs, has become a good test case for other service providers across Asia to see how innovative add-on telecommunications services can improve a country's economy.

“The economic potential of having 40 to 50 percent of the country's population connected through a seamless wireless network provided by operators and their vast supply chain networks is enormous,” he observed.

Kager likewise urged the Philippine government to deploy third generation (3G) platforms soon, such as EDGE (enhanced data rate for GSM environment) and WCDMA (wideband code division multiplexing access) -- two main bandwidth-intensive 3G platforms.

Kager was particular about the plans of the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission to release 3G licenses, which he said would pave the way for deployment by mobile carriers, as well as new and more compelling wireless applications.

The GSA chairman added that Australia and several Asian countries are starting to deploy 3G networks this year, among them Hong Kong, South Korea, India, Thailand, and Malaysia.

No comments: