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Smart leads in video experience and download speeds according to OpenSignal

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According to mobile analytics firm OpenSignal, PLDT’s wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. takes the lead in overall video quality, faster loading times and fewer interruptions on video playback.

The Opensignal results come amid ever-increasing demand for mobile data in the country, as studies show that Filipinos are spending the most number of hours online at 10 hours every day, and continue to be the among the world’s most avid video and social media users. 

“Smart’s gains were particularly impressive. It won four of Opensignal’s awards outright and tied with Globe for the fifth. It has already established considerable distance from Globe in our Download Speed, Upload Speed and Video Experience metrics, and is now threatening to surpass Globe in 4G Availability,” wrote OpenSignal principal analyst Kevin Fitchard, who authored the report.

The latest report, which draws on Opensignal’s active Philippine userbase of over 270,000 unique devices which collected over 900 million measurements between Nov. 1, 2018 and Jan. 29, 2019, also included a regional analysis covering key urban cities Manila, Cebu and Davao. It found that in these three regions, Smart is ahead in terms of Video Experience, as well as Upload and Download Speed Experience. 

Random Smart LTE speed test using the Apple iPhone XS in Glorietta Mall, Makati City

Ahead in video experience, download speeds and latency experience

On the national level, Smart garnered a “fair” video score of 44.4, way ahead of competition’s “poor” rating of 28.4, while its Download Speed Experience is almost double that of competition at 9 Mbps (vs 5.5 Mbps). In terms of 4G Download Speed in particular, Smart is also ahead at 13.6 Mbps (vs 7.5 Mbps.)

Opensignal’s Video Experience metric measures exactly what consumers are experiencing when they watch videos. Built on an International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based approach for measuring video quality, it is derived from several underlying parameters based on real-world measurements of video streams from the world’s largest video content providers.

Smart also leads in Latency Experience at 69.4ms (vs 74.6ms). Latency, an important measure of network responsiveness, affects experience on a host of mobile applications and experiences, particularly real-time multiplayer gaming. The lower the score, the better the experience.

In terms of 4G Availability, Opensignal noted that Smart has further closed the gap with its competitor.

“Smart’s lengthy struggle to catch up with Globe in 4G reach is over. In our most recent test period, Smart closed the already-dwindling gap between itself and Globe in our 4G Availability metric, producing a two-way tie for our award in the category. Smart’s progress in just six months is impressive,” Fitchard added.

Ahead in key cities

Across key urban areas of Manila, Cebu and Davao, Smart also leads in terms of Video Experience at 55.4 (vs 35.2), 48 (vs 30.3) and 49.5 (vs. 31.7), respectively.  In terms of Download Speed Experience, Smart is also ahead of competition at 15.2 Mbps in Manila, 6.8 Mbps in Cebu and 7.1 Mbps in Davao. 

“The timing of Smart’s new network enhancements likely isn’t mere coincidence. The Mislatel consortium is set to launch the Philippines’ third national mobile operator, putting competitive pressure on both Globe and Smart. In the coming months we would expect to see both operators shore up their mobile broadband services in anticipation of Mislatel’s launch,” Fitchard wrote.

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