Smartphone usage boosts Philippine e-commerce industry
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - March 25, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Increased smartphone usage could potentially make the e-commerce industry in the Philippines more robust.

Online car dealer Carmudi said the country could have a strong e-commerce as more Filipinos own smartphones.

In a statement released yesterday, Carmudi Philippines country manager Subir Lohani said: “The expansion of the e-commerce industry is limited foremost by the number of smartphone users in the country.”

There are challenges that Philippine e-commerce businesses face -- one of which is the internet speed.

According to the web service firm Ookla, the country’s internet speed stands at 4 Mbps, considered to be the fourth fastest in the ASEAN region but still quite far from Singapore which has a speed of 16 Mbps.

“Improvements in the country’s internet structure and a better service from telephone companies can easily bridge this gap, in time for the Philippines transition to mobile browsing,” Lohani said.

He believes market demand will push telcos to be more competitive on internet services.

The future of the country’s e-commerce will essentially depend on how telcos can address the mobile data cap issue.

The Rocket Internet-backed online firm said more online enterprises would thrive if telcos would boost their mobile data usage.

“Currently the low mobile data usage and penetration is one of the challenges they see when it comes to online-based businesses like Carmudi,” the country manager said.

While more and more people are using their mobile phones and tablets when browsing the internet, Lohani said having a mobile data cap is what stops them from viewing online sites.

He believes increased mobile data usage would allow better business opportunities in an emerging country like the Philippines and could bring in more investors.

The country, he said, has a high demand for mobile phone usage.

CARMUDI CARMUDI PHILIPPINES COMMERCE COUNTRY INTERNET LOHANI MOBILE OOKLA ROCKET INTERNET SUBIR LOHANI
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