We’ll be there in due time
- Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - February 10, 2018 - 12:00am

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has determined that there are enough frequencies to accommodate a third telco player, and that seems to be the final word on whether a third player should be allowed to challenge the duopoly of Globe and Smart.

The National Telecommunications Commission says that the present 300MHZ is enough to compete with the duopoly and with the new technologies available, we can layer frequencies. It is a fact that we lag so far behind our neighbors in the region as far as this is concerned. Our internet is still so painfully slow, although I must admit that the two telco companies, Smart and Globe, are now moving towards improving this and there are some results already. Still, we’re years behind Singapore, for instance, and even Vietnam which has only since rebounded some years back. Truly, something needs to be done, and done fast, for us to level up with our neighbors.

E-commerce is also here to stay and it is catching up fast with the Filipino consumer. Have you noticed how many start-up entrepreneurs have launched their home business through e-commerce? One does not need to have a brick and mortar store to do business anymore here at home. The way Amazon has made all those giant department stores obsolete is nothing short of phenomenal. One doesn’t have to go out, drive all the way to the mall to purchase something. After a quick browse on one’s laptop, the purchase is just a click away and Amazon delivery brings the item to your doorstep in a day or two.

Realistically, this isn’t going to happen in the Philippines for a long time yet. The Filipino consumer needs to be educated more on the benefits of e-commerce and there is also the fact that we still do not have enough safety nets to protect our consumers from e-commerce fraud. Sure, Lazada and and Zalora have proven themselves reliable and above board, but there are too many small players that have to be vetted carefully before they are allowed to do business via the internet.

Another new frontier here that is worth looking into by our young Filipino IT professionals is the internet marketing services. In one of the segments of B&L, the television show, we came across young Carl Ocab, who just two years ago formed his eponymous company, Carl Ocab Internet Marketing Services. Carl has been a techie since he was a young boy, even starting his own blog when he was just 13 years old. Because he was into video games, his blog was all about the games he played then. He provided guides, tricks and whatever to kids his age who shared his love for video games, and monetized this with Google Ad Sense, the advertising service of Google. To make a long story short, he made his first money from blogging at such an early age and this opened the doors for Carl to make his fortune in this new frontier.

Carl shared that big companies were impressed that a 13-year old was blogging successfully and Carl was featured on TV and on print. Even Forbes ran a feature on him. When he finally opened his own internet marketing service company, he started marketing his blogs, e-books and softwares. Now, his clients are also internet marketing agencies that outsource their work to his company. In the US, according to Carl, they charge as much as $4,000-$5,000 per website, so much more than what our local internet companies charge, so it is logical that these are outsourced to local companies like the Carl Ocab Internet Marketing Services for much lower fees.

Carl has between six to 10 agencies as clients now, each agency with several clients, so business is doing well for this two-year old upstart firm. On his first year alone, he grew his new company by 130 percent, and to think that he started his company with no outside investors, just his own resources which were very limited, having just graduated from school. He bootstrapped his fledgling company, said Carl, and on its second year, it grew by 250 percent. What this young man has achieved in such a short span is nothing short of amazing indeed.

There is still much room in this new frontier, but many Filipino companies still opt to go for the tried and tested, the traditional way of advertising their products through giant billboards, for instance. I don’t blame them because internet marketing has not been established well enough in the country to gain the trust and confidence of internet marketers. Much has to be done to establish this trust, so Carl hopes more marketers will strive harder to build a reputable name for themselves by providing good, reliable and legitimate internet services to gain the trust of users. When Carl got featured in Forbes and gained a lot of visibility in the United States, he leveraged this to build a name for himself, and look where he is now.

Now, Carl wants to grow his company even more and implement the marketing strategies that are now being used successfully in the United States. He wants to improve the internet industry in the Philippines, but it is not only the buying power that he has to contend with, it is also the mind set of our local companies. There is still much to be done in shaping the mind set of local companies to want to invest in internet marketing with full confidence. But I am confident we will get there in due time.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.

For comments & inquiries (email) sunshine.television@yahoo.com

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