Smart still beats Globe in service quality test

Shadz Loresco
For the 3rd time running, Smart Communications edges rival Globe Telecom throughout the battery of service quality tests

PASSING MARKS FOR BOTH. But Smart and Globe are warring over who performed better

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Smart Communications is yet to yield the top spot in the telco race, as revealed by the second quarter Quality of Service (QoS) bookmarking test for mobile network service providers. 

According to the statement released by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Tuesday, July 16, Smart and Globe Telecom scored passing rates as with the previous quarter that pitted those two telecommunication companies against each other’s performance in several indicators.

For the 3rd time running, the Manuel Pangilinan-led telco edged its Ayala-led rival throughout the battery of tests that the benchmarking team conducted during April, May and June across 17 cities in Metro Manila.

Smart also beat Globe in the first quarter of 2013 and the 4th quarter of 2012.

NTC used standard ratings against which it matched the performances of the two providers. Smart ranked first in all 5 parameters.

The second quarter 2013 results are as follows:

Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Q1 2013 Q2 2013

(percentage of calls that were not given access by the network)

  4% or less, or no more than 4 blocked calls for every 100 call attempts 0.87% 1.26% 2.6% 1.46%

(percentage of ongoing calls that were terminated involuntarily) 

2% or less  1% 1.07% 1.53% 1.4%

(strength of signal being supplied by the cell site to the subscriber’s handset during an ongoing conversation)

Average Receive Signal Level (ARSL) at -85dBm or more. Figures closer to 0 is deemed better -65.90 dBm -65.52 dBm -71.14 dBm -71.45 dBm

(the quality of voice transmission during a call; choppy or garbled transmission signals low quality)

Average Signal Quality (ASQ) in the 0 to 4 range. Figures closer to 0 is deemed better 0.77 0.72 0.91 0.91

(the interval between the time the subscriber dials the number to the first time the recipient’s phone rings)

14 seconds or less 11.06 sec 11.12 sec 12.2 sec 12 sec


Although Smart performed better, it increased the rates of its blocked calls from 0.87% to 1.26% and dropped calls from past two quarters’ 1% to 1.07%, as well as its call set-up time from 11.06 seconds to 11.12.

Globe’s modernization seemed to have made possible the decline in blocked calls from 2.60% to 1.46% and dropped calls from 1.53% to 1.40%, as well as its call set-up time from 12.20 seconds to 12.

Globe Corporate Communications Head Yoly Crisanto said that the network was calibrating its transmission capabilities early this 2013. Smart completed its modernization program in the first half of 2012.

In a July 16 statement, Globe 

NTC said it will push through with the benchmarking program to ensure that the services the telcos provide the public with are at par with NTC and industry standards. The monitoring team previously used postpaid Smart and Globe SIM cards with subscription to regular services. The calls were made using the “drive test” method, or a test made inside a moving vehicle. 

Globe reacts

In a July 16 statement, Globe raised questions over NTC’s benchmarking results, highlighting the difference between the results of their internal tests and NTC’s.

“The network performance measurement equipment of Globe generates network quality KPIs (key performance indicators)…More extensive drive tests done by Globe, [which include] the NTC drive test routes, showed a major difference from the latest NTC test results. This may indicate a need to jointly review the latest NTC results in the interest of transparency,” wrote Globe Head of Service Quality, Network Technical Group Cris Crisostomo.

Crisostomo added Globe has already filed their concerns with the NTC. –


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