Philippines’ Third Operator Fights Odds to Expand Share

Telecom operator DITO, which has been brought in by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to challenge the duopoly of Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, claims to have covered 158 cities and municipalities in the country so far. The Philippines has 146 cities and 1,488 municipalities. Globe and Smart cover 95% and 93% of the country’s cities and municipalities, respectively. Considering that DITO, which is a joint venture between Udenna Group and China Telecom, saw its commercial launch in March this year with 15 pilot areas, its expansion can be termed as aggressive. In May this year, Duterte signed a law renewing DITO’s license,  for another 25 years from its expiry on April 24, 2023.

Mobile Subscribers Share in Philippines, Jun 2021

Counterpoint Research Mobile Subscribers Share in Philippines Jun 2021, DITO

With continuous lockdowns in multiple places, including the world’s longest lockdown, DITO is facing serious challenges in setting up its infrastructure. China Telecom has transferred some of its experienced manpower from China to help expand DITO’s network, while the local Udenna Group is helping with the funding besides guiding the China team.

DITO’s prepaid offers

After analyzing the market, DITO has launched attractive packages for consumers. To welcome new users, the operator is extending its P199 (roughly $4) prepaid offer until the end of September. The offer comes with 25GB of data, unlimited texts, 300 minutes of calls to other networks and unlimited DITO-to-DITO calls for 30 days. There is also a P99 ($2) offer that comes with 10GB of data for 30 days, unlimited DITO-to-DITO calls, 300 minutes of calls to other networks and unlimited SMS to all numbers.

Consumers who already have a DITO SIM card can subscribe to these plans using the DITO app. If the consumers don’t have a SIM card yet, they can buy it from the company’s e-shop or the official stores on Lazada and Shopee. With P199, the consumer can get 6GB with no expiry date when buying it via the Smart App portal.


DITO has a long way to go to close the gap with established rivals Globe Telecom and Smart Communications. However, it can be a disruptive competitor in the current market. Duterte too is keen to project DITO as one of his big achievements during the coming elections.

Around 30% of the mobile phone users in the Philippines are still on the 2G/3G network. Compared to Globe and Smart, DITO is starting with a 4G/5G network, which can prove to be an advantage in attracting 2G/3G users when combined with attractive offers.

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5G Connected Cars to Grab 40% of China Market by 2025

Beijing, Hong Kong, New Delhi, London, Seoul, Buenos Aires, San Diego December 18, 2020

5G connected car sales volume in China will jump to 7.1 million units in 2025, accounting for 40% of the country’s total connected car sales volume, according to the latest research by Counterpoint’s Smart Automotive service. Currently, 4G dominates China’s connected car market. The sales volume of 4G connected cars are expected to reach 7.8 million units in 2020 to account for 95% of the country’s total connected car sales volume. However, with 5G seeing a fast rollout in China and the automotive industry expected to grow faster starting 2021, the share of 5G connected car sales volume will show rapid growth. Government incentives such as a plan to issue US$535.6 billion (RMB 3.7 trillion) special-purpose bonds in 2020 to promote strategic sectors like 5G, Made in China 2025 will also drive 5G adoption by China’s automotive industry. The three state-owned telecom operators in China – China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom – are expected to invest around $184 billion in 5G networks by 2025.

Commenting on the dynamics of China’s connected car market, Senior Analyst Aman Madhok said, ”Despite the impact of COVID-19, China’s connected car sales volume are expected to reach 8.2 million units in 2020, a slight increase of 0.8% YoY from the 8.1 million units shipped in 2019. In terms of the global share, China is expected to grab 26.8% of the sales volume in 2020, becoming the second-largest connected car market. With a projected share of 30%, the US will continue to lead the market while Europe will take the third spot, but with almost the same volume as China.

Exhibit 1: Global Connected Car Sales Volume Share by Country, 2020

Counterpoint Research - Global Connected Car Sales Volume Share by Country, 2020
Source: Counterpoint’s Smart Automotive Service

Looking from the brand perspective, Research Associate Alicia Gong said, “Foreign brands control almost three-quarters of China’s connected car sales volume. Volkswagen Group is the market leader with a 25% share, followed by General Motors and Mercedes Benz. Among local brands, which account for just 12% of the sales volume, Changan is the leader with a 4% share, followed by Geely and SAIC.”

Exhibit 2: Projection for China Connected Car Sales Volume Share by Brand, 2020


Counterpoint Projection for China Connected Car Sales Volume Share by Brand, 2020
Source: Counterpoint’s Smart Automotive Service

Another point worth mentioning here is that luxury brands Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Audi have been offering 4G connectivity in most cars since Q1 2019. After Huawei released the world’s first 5G telematics module (MH5000) in April 2019, Audi quickly deployed it in its passenger cars and showcased it at the Beijing-Chongli Expressway demonstration in 2019-end. We expect Audi to launch these models soon, followed by other brands.

The comprehensive and in-depth ‘Global Connected Car Tracker 2020’ is now available for purchase at Feel free to reach out to us at press(at) for further questions regarding our latest research and insights, or for press enquiries.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Alicia Gong

Aman Madhok

Counterpoint Research

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Government Push to Make China a Leader in 5G Connected Cars

Increasing need for real-time cloud computing and fast cloud-car communication is creating a market for 5G-enabled connected cars. Counterpoint estimates that one out of every four connected cars sold in 2025 will have embedded 5G connectivity. China will account for a majority of such cars sold in the next five years.

The Chinese government support for 5G is the key factor responsible for making the country the preferred place for automakers to launch 5G connected cars. China’s top-down approach and the ability to bridge public-private divide through state-owned enterprises is speeding up 5G deployment. Clear road map and investment from the government is creating an environment for 5G that has not been seen anywhere else in the world. For instance, China plans to issue US$535.6 billion (RMB3.75 trillon) special purpose bonds in 2020 to promote development of strategic infrastructure, including 5G network. Furthermore, 5G R&D is being promoted for the last many years.

Initiatives Taken by Chinese Government During Last Decade

Counterpoint: Initiatives taken by Chinese government to promote 5G connected cars

Push from state-owned telecom operators

The three big telecom operators in China – China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom – are expected to invest around $184 billion in 5G network by 2025. All the three operators support cooperation in the ecosystem.

  • In 2016, China Mobile along with its 11 partners launched 5G Joint Innovation Centre to promote industry collaboration.
  • In 2018, China Mobile partnered with Baidu for the Apollo open source software platform for autonomous driving.
  • In 2017, China Unicom, ZTE, Datang, FAW and Ford entered a collaboration for pre-crash warning for pedestrians.
  • In 2019, China Unicom and Chery signed an agreement to expand their partnership for 5G, connected and autonomous vehicles.
  • In the 2017 Mobile World Congress, China Mobile, SAIC Motor and Huawei demonstrated the world’s first 5G-based remote driving.
  • In 2019, China Mobile and China Unicom agreed to mutualise their 5G network deployment till 2026 to ensure faster deployment and save $47 billion during 2019-2026.
  • In 2020, Volvo partnered China Unicom to explore V2X and other use cases requiring 5G network.

More than 480,000 5G stations have already been set up in China this year, well on track to reach the 2020 target of 500,000 5G stations.

Definitive industry announcements

Years of efforts on research, deployment and testing of 5G use cases have finally led to building of industry confidence in China.

  • In 2019, Geely announced to offer 5G connected V2X-enabled vehicles in China starting 2021.
  • In 2020, GM announced to equip all new Cadillac models and most Buick and Chevrolet cars in China with 5G by 2022.
  • In 2020, Huawei partnered with 18 automakers to build a 5G-enabled automotive ecosystem for faster deployment of such vehicles in the country.

5G Infrastructure – Share More, Plan Less

As 5G networks roll out globally, operators and administrators are seeking ways to accelerate the benefits of the new technology, while keeping costs, and other potential road blocks, under control.

China Telecom and China Unicom are actively considering sharing infrastructure. China Mobile may also join them; especially for networks in rural areas where the return on investment calculations are harder to justify than in urban settings. The three Chinese operators co-own a tower company, China Tower Corp, so some of the groundwork has already been laid. China Tower Corp has said it has received requests to install 65,000 5G base stations so far – a number it expects to exceed 100,000 by the year end.

China Unicom has said that sharing infrastructure can result in capex savings of between $28 billion and $38 billion — though at least part of those savings represent lost revenue for infrastructure vendors that have been holding out for the 5G spending bonanza. This indicates that the total spend may be considerably less than would otherwise be the case if all operators built their own networks.

In the UK, all four operators have established some form of infrastructure sharing. 3 UK (owned by CK Hutchison) formed a joint venture with T-Mobile (now EE) called Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL). Separately, Vodafone and O2 have a jointly owned company called Cornerstone. Vodafone and O2 are are adding 5G to their existing shared infrastructure. This is a logical move as it minimizes the roll-out costs of the new technology and accelerates time to market – especially in less dense suburban and rural areas that are costly to cover. At the same time, they are providing for greater autonomy in urban areas, where the usage is most intense and therefore offers the greatest return for differentiated offerings. They may open Cornerstone to additional investors that will allow Vodafone and O2 to, partially, monetize their existing investments.

Mobile operators have tended to compete on the basis of network coverage and quality – exemplified by Verizon Wireless’ ‘Can you hear me now?’ advertising campaign of a few years ago. 5G will be no different; we are already seeing competitive shots being fired, with 3 UK claiming it is the only true 5G service provider in the UK, thanks to its 100MHz of contiguous spectrum. The moves toward more infrastructure sharing may not be smooth – but they do make sense in some circumstances. 5G services however, promise to be more complex and diverse than anything we’ve seen before – enabled by the capacity and speed of the technology – and by the increasing use of distributed computing capabilities through things like mobile edge computing (MEC), that will be key to delivering the ultra-low latency services expected in 5G.

In a separate move, the UK government has opened a consultation on whether to allow higher cell towers to be built without additional planning consent being required. The current legislation limits towers to 25 meters. Higher towers can be used to extend coverage in rural areas – and can carry more kit, though the size of antenna systems is tending to shrink with the latest developments.

Other industries often share infrastructure and compete on customer-facing service provision. Mobile network operators are no stranger to this; MVNOs effectively share the infrastructure of the host operators and compete in the provision of service. The most extreme step on this path would be the formation of a single national ‘Net Co’ that would be responsible for building a single wholesale network (SWN) to be used by all operators. It has been tried in a few markets – especially to provide service in areas that would otherwise not be covered, but they’ve not been successful. We expect the SWN model will not be used in 5G, but various forms of infrastructure sharing will increasingly be the norm.

If you would like to talk about 5G with us, Counterpoint’s Neil Shah will be attending the 5G Leadership Summit in Mumbai on August 30th. Follow the link to schedule a meeting with Neil.

Cloud Server CAPEX Soars as Datacenter Companies Look to Increase Share in Cloud Services Market

The cloud services market has been experiencing high double-digit growth in the past few years. Yet, there is more room to grow. Demand will continue to increase as more geographies, and companies adopt cloud services. Conventional corporate organizations are shifting towards public and hybrid cloud due to better offerings and low-cost maintenance. This demand has compelled datacenter and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) providers to invest heavily and continually increase their infrastructure to support clients.

Among the Cloud Services providers who spend for servers and related hardware, Google dominated followed closely by AWS in 2018 (Exhibit 1). According to Counterpoint’s Cloud Services Tracker, Google spent 10% of the overall global spend, followed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Alibaba, with 9% and 7% share, respectively, in 2018. Facebook and Microsoft are also spending heavily to increase their datacenter capacities and capabilities. Other notable players are Apple, Intel, IBM, China Telecom, and Equinix.

Cloud Infrastructure CapEx Spend – 2018

Exhibit 1: Cloud Infrastructure CapEx Spend – 2018

Further, Counterpoint’s Cloud Services Tracker shows that the combined capital expenditure (CAPEX) of FAMGA (Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon) increased by 45% year-on-year (YoY) in 2018. Intel’s CAPEX rose by 29% YoY in 2018. Chinese counterparts, BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) and China Telecom saw a 24% YoY increase in CAPEX. Combined, FAMGA, Intel, BAT, and China Telecom contributed to 56% of global CAPEX by datacenter and IaaS providers. Among the REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), Equinix and Digital Realty are the biggest contributors. However, going forward, we expect the CAPEX of cloud services providers to increase as companies like Google and Microsoft venture into cloud gaming by launching their platforms, Stadia and Project xCloud, respectively.

AWS has the most number (66) of cloud infrastructure locations worldwide with 12 more locations in the pipeline, followed by Google Cloud with 61 such locations. Alibaba has 58 locations worldwide while Microsoft Azure has 20. These cloud giants are expanding globally as they look to increase their market share in the cloud services market. Further, these companies are working to ramp up their product portfolio with innovations and acquisitions and increase their market share by engaging in strategic partnerships.

Google has been quite aggressive in expanding its cloud services through acquisitions. Recently, it has acquired Looker, a big data and analytics platform, for a massive US$2.6 billion. Google’s list of acquisitions includes Qwiklabs, Kaggle, Bitium, Apigee, and Orbitera, among others. AWS is also active in this regard and has acquired companies like 2lemetry, Elemental, ClusterK, Cloud9 IDE, Graphiq and Sqrrl, among others. AWS even acquired Annapurna Labs to boost its internal production of custom chips for cloud infrastructure.

Further, cloud services providers are partnering with Taiwanese/Chinese ODMs to source servers and other components for increasing their capacities. The biggest ODM contributors are Foxconn, Wistron, Wiwynn, Inventec, Quanta providing servers to Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and OEMs such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Dell. Inventec and Quanta have the highest number of partnerships with leading cloud providers. Exhibit 2 shows the customer-ODM relationships.

Cloud Provider/OEM – ODM Partnerships

Exhibit 2: Cloud Provider/OEM – ODM Partnerships

The future looks bright for the ODMs, server OEMs, as well as component makers as cloud providers, continue to expand their consumer base as well as services. Multiple new services such as cloud gaming, service mesh, IoT expansion as well as entry into new geographies will drive the cloud adoption and hence, will increase the infrastructure spend by cloud service providers.

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