Overall mobile data speeds in PH have notably improved – report

MANILA, Philippines - Amid ongoing talks to welcome a third telco, Globe and Smart’s overall mobile network download speeds have notably risen in the last 6 months, according to a semi-annual report from OpenSignal.

Analyzing crowdsourced data in the country, OpenSignal reports that in the last 6 months, Globe’s average overall download speed saw an approximate 14% increase to 5 Mbps while Smart has grown by a whopping 29% to 7.5 Mbps.

The report attributed the improved download speeds to both company’s recent expansion of LTE reach in the country. Since more customers are connecting to 4G/LTE instead of 3G, the average download speed has increased.

This information coincides with a previous report that revealed Smart has added 3,900 LTE base stations from the start of the year to the end of June. Smart with a total of 12,600 base stations pulled ahead of Globe, who had 11,300 by the start of May.

An OpenSignal spokesperson said that Smart is inching closer to overtaking Globe in terms of 4G signal availability. "In every Philippines report we've released Globe has always taken our 4G availability award while Smart has won our 4G download speed award. The status quo hasn't changed yet, but it may very well change by our next report. Smart is catching up to Globe in 4G reach, with only 4 percentage points separating them in our 4G availability metric," the spokesperson said. 

While Globe is still leading with a metric score of 67.79% in terms of availability, Smart is clawing its way to take its place at 64%. This is a huge improvement for Smart who barely reached 40% just 18 months ago, as cited by the report.

With an increased number of sites to provide 4G/LTE service, Smart has created a bigger lead over Globe in terms of 4G download speed. Smart has an average 4G speed of 13.02 Mbps while Globe has 7.34 Mbps.

Globe, meanwhile, beats Smart by small margin in 3G download speed, recording an average of 2.7 Mbps and 2.34 Mbps, respectively.

The two operators are virtually tied in 4G latency. Latency is the time it takes for a packet of data to make a round trip through the network.

The results seem to hint that the pressure of an incoming player in the industry has forced the two operators, specially Smart, to improve their services. It now remains to be seen how these numbers will stack up when this new player enters the mix. – Rappler.com