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Philippine official estimates cell-phone use to continue to grow

MANILA, The Philippines-While Filipino cell-phone subscribers are projected to reach 20 million during the next seven years, use will be the growth driver of the Philippine cellular industry, according to National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) head Eliseo M. Rio Jr.

Rio added that the growth of the industry would depend on the economic growth of the country and the applications that cellular mobile telephone system (CMTS) providers would offer. He noted that the 20 million subscriber estimate would be only a small percentage of the country’s population in 2009.

Currently, Smart Communications has more than 7 million subscribers, while Globe Telecom has more than 5 million.

Rio believes the industry will have a continuous growth but the take-up will be slower than previous years. He added that there will still be room for new players in the industry, especially with the entry of multimedia messaging service (MMS).

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