Cellphone Use in the Philippines

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A Mobile Telephone or Cellular Telephone (commonly referred to as mobile phone or cellphone) is a long-range, portable electronic device used for mobile communication. In addition to the standard voice function of a telephone, current mobile phones can support many additional services, such as SMS (for text messaging), email, packet switching (for access to the Internet), and MMS (for sending and receiving photos and video). Most current mobile phones connect to a cellular network of base stations (Cell sites), which is in turn interconnect to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) (the exception are satellite phones). Today's mobile phones are more sophisticated, with functions similar to that of a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and a digital camera combined, as well as a large storage space of up to 5 gigabytes of memory.


History of Cellphones in the Philippines

In the late 60's, cellphones were introduced in the Philippines, made popular initially by Motorola Philippines using the first generation mobile or analog phones, but were for voice calls only. The network providers then were Pilipino Telephone Corporation(Piltel),Extelcom and Smart Communications. In the mid 70's, GSM (Groupe Spécial Mobile) was introduced by Nokia Philippines, using advanced features such as text messaging, call waiting, call forwarding, and call hold, starting a new breed of mobile users, who made text messaging the cheapest means of communicating with everyone in the country.

Today, the Philippines is considered as the "Text Capital" of the world.

There are three major network providers in the country:

Under these providers are sub providers such as:

Before the turn of the century, the first generation mobile phones had become obsolete, and the second generation mobiles were becoming very popular due to more advanced capabilities like polyphonic ringtones, the introduction of Symbian programs (initiated by Nokia), and other features were not found in first generation mobile phones.

With the introduction of third generation (or 3G) phones in the early 21rst century, competition for mobile supremacy in the Philippines became intense, with suppliers introducing more and more enhancements on their mobile phones to capture the large share of the Philippine market. Newer features introduced include GPRS(General Packet Radio Service), a more dependable data carrier, MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) format (over polyphonic ringtones), video conferencing, and internet messenger services, among others.

Recently, broacasting TV signal via mobile phones was also made available, and the use of Symbian programs for mobiles are now being replaced with programs which were formerly designed for desktop Pc users. Suppliers can now have a firm hold on the Philippine market, as an informal survey indicates that 98% of the Philippine population have at least 2 mobile phones for every individual.

Network Providers

Cellphone Suppliers

Popular Cellphone Models

Retail Outlets

Service Centers

Secret Codes






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