MANILA - Fewer Filipinos are communicating via text messaging as most cellphone users in the country have switched to online chats and messenger apps, Department of Information and Communications Technology Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio said Saturday.
Rio said there was a 40 percent drop in text messaging over the past three years, with the same percentage of mobile phone users shifting to online messaging in 2016.
This followed the availability of 4G LTE services in the country, which allows better chat connectivity.
"Sa (With) SMS (short message service), you can only contact point-to-point, person-to-person pero dito sa (but in) social media you can actually broadcast yourself," Rio said.
Filipinos are the world's top internet and social media users despite having one of the slowest internet speeds in the world, recent studies showed.
Filipinos spend an average of 10 hours and 2 minutes on the internet via any device, creative agency We Are Social and social media management platform Hootsuite said in its Digital 2019: Global Digital Overview report.
This despite the Philippines' internet speed ranking as the slowest among 15 Asia-Pacific countries and 108th in the world as shown by a 2017 study.
The current average internet speed in the Philippines is at 10 mbps, Rio said.
"If we are number one [internet user] with our present condition, you can image what Filipinos can do kung maganda talaga ang ating telecommunication services (if we have good telecommunications services)," he said.
Last year, the government chose Mislatel consortium - composed of Davao tycoon Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp and Chelsey Logistics, and state-owned China Telecom - as the country's third provisional telco player in a bid to break the duopoly between PLDT Inc and Globe Telecom.
Mislatel promised to deliver up to 27 mbps in its first year of operations, rivaling internet speeds in Singapore.
- report from Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News