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Smart leads in mobile network experience in the PHL — Opensignal

Smart Communications, Inc., the wireless arm of PLDT, Inc., remained the leader in Opensignal’s third-quarter ranking of mobile network experience among the Philippines’ three largest mobile operators.

Smart dominated in terms of download speed experience and fifth-generation (5G) download speed, with scores of 22.5 megabits per second (Mbps) and 134.8 Mbps, respectively, said Opensignal senior analyst Sam Fenwick in his report.

Smart outperformed DITO Telecommunity Corp. by 5.3 Mbps in terms of download speed and Globe Telecom, Inc. by 17.3 Mbps in terms of 5G download speed.

The report also found that Smart 5G users spent the most time with an active 5G connection and found a 5G signal in the most locations.

Rob Lerner, Opensignal vice president for Asia-Pacific, told BusinessWorld that despite heavy investment from telcos, 5G adoption in the Philippines is still at an early stage.

“Outside of Metro Manila it’s probably lower in terms of adoption rate,” Mr. Lerner said. “It’s not necessarily about adding more network, it’s about getting the handset into the customer’s pocket based on the cost-benefit tradeoff of using 5G.”

Smart’s score for 5G availability is 16.5%, with a lead of 6.7 percentage points over Globe’s 9.8%. Smart is also on top for 5G reach, given a score of 4.6 points, with Globe coming in second with 4.1 points, the report said.

While Smart won the award for overall games experience, Globe gained ground since the last Opensignal report.

Globe’s score of 46.7 was higher than its first-quarter score by nine points, while DITO’s increased by 4.7 points. Smart’s was statistically unchanged, moving Globe into second place and cutting Smart’s lead down to 7.8 from 12.9 points.

The report reflects the dynamic market in the Philippines, Mr. Lerner said.

“In recent history, Smart has dominated the awards table and raced ahead in 5G, but this report sees Globe making real gains in 5G, winning upload speed alongside video experience and getting joint wins with Smart on games and voice experience,” he said.

Globe also won for core consistent quality with a half percentage point over DITO. In excellent consistent quality, it was Smart that beat DITO by 3.8 percentage points.

Opensignal’s measures of “core consistent quality” quantify how often user experience was sufficient to support basic applications like messaging, uploading, and browsing.

Meanwhile, “excellent consistent quality” analyzes the percentage of users’ tests that met the minimum recommended thresholds for watching high-definition video, completing group video conference calls, and playing games.

DITO dominated the upload speed experience category, with its users seeing the fastest average upload speeds in the country at 4.4 Mbps. Smart came second with 3.9 Mbps.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through Philippine Star Group. — Brontë H. Lacsamana

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