By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

MOBILE video experience in the Philippines for 2019 was tagged “fair” by a global wireless coverage mapping firm, improving from its “poor” ranking in 2018.

In its “The State of Mobile Video Experience” report for this year, United Kingdom-based Opensignal ranked the Philippines 88th in a survey of 100 countries for quality of mobile video experience.

The country was at the bottom of last year’s mobile video experience list of 69 countries.

The Philippines joins 28 other countries in the fair category for 2019, along with other large markets such as Indonesia, Russia and the United States.

Opensignal uses five categories in grouping video experience: poor (those with a video experience score of 0-40), fair (40-55), good (55-65), very good (65-75) and excellent (75-100).

The video experience score measures the quality of videos when using a third generation (3G) or fourth generation (4G) mobile network, where three factors are considered: picture quality, video loading time and stall rate.

The Philippines’ video experience score this year is 42.7, an increase from last year’s 34.98. This puts mobile video experience in the Philippines at the fourth to the last place in the fair category.

Opensignal said it generally observed improvements in mobile video experience in many countries in 2019.

“Across the globe, we see ongoing network deployments using newer 4G technologies, which means users’ smartphones connect to multiple frequency bands at once, with higher-grade encoding,” it said.

“Perhaps more significantly, as carriers in major developed countries look to wider 5G roll outs, they often prepare first by upgrading 4G sites with improved backhaul links to existing cell towers, which has the effect of boosting the 4G experience for current users,” it added.

But it said in countries like the Philippines where a large chunk of the population rely on mobile devices for video streaming, telecommunications operators are challenged by the high volume of mobile network traffic.

“In large emerging economies like Indonesia and the Philippines, the challenge for carriers is every bit as acute as it is in developed markets, because consumers routinely rely on their phone as their main, sometimes their only, digital device,” the report said.

“This means mobile video viewing may not only be a personal preference because a football game happens to be on at a slightly inconvenient time when someone happens to be away from home, but in these mobile-first countries the smartphone is often simply the only screen available at home to watch the game,” it added.

Topping Opensignal’s 2019 list for mobile video experience is Norway, with a video experience score of 78.5. Joining it in the excellent category are five other nations, namely Czech Republic (77.2), Austria (76.7), Denmark (76.0), Hungary (75.9) and Netherlands (75.7).