PHL 4G video quality declines in March after lockdown

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FOURTH-GENERATION (4G) video quality in the Philippines declined in March, which most Filipinos spent indoors after the government imposed an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of the coronavirus, UK-based Opensignal Ltd. said.

Opensignal, which refers to the quality of 4G video as the “4G video experience,” said on May 25 that in March, when the lockdown was first declared in the middle of the month, “we observed a decline in 4G video experience across all regions.”

Opensignal said 4G video quality declined by 7.2% in urban areas when compared with the experience seen in the previous month, while rural areas saw a decline of 14.7%.

“Despite these declines, the typical 4G video experience in the Philippines ranges from Fair to Good, which suggests that the mobile operators have been able to cope well during these extraordinary times,” it explained.

In the six months to February, Opensignal said 4G video quality improved in most regions.

“While rural users in the Mindanao region saw the biggest improvement of 23.3%, urban users saw the highest improvement of 9.1% in the National Capital Region. In the remaining regions (urban and rural areas combined), the experience improved between 2.9% to 7.8%, with the exception of the rural areas of the Visayas region,” it explained.

In March, users in urban areas in North and Central Luzon saw the lowest declines of 2.6%, while the decline in other regions ranged between 4.6% and 9.4%, Opensignal said.

“South Luzon was the only region where we observed a decline beyond 10%. The video experience declined further as we moved away from the urban centers of the Philippines,” it added.

It said rural users in the Visayas experienced “the smallest decline of 7.5%, while it declined further to 10.3% for users in North and Central Luzon region.”

“The largest reductions were observed by users in the South Luzon and Mindanao region — 16.2% and 21.2%, respectively,” Opensignal said further.

Overall, Philippine consumers continue to enjoy a “good 4G video experience (55-65 on a 100 point scale) in the National Capital Region, and a Fair 4G video experience (40-55) in the remaining regions regardless of whether they are based in urban or rural areas,” it concluded.

Opensignal uses five categories in grading video quality: 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 3G or 4G mobile network, where three factors are considered: picture quality, video loading time and stall rate. — Arjay L. Balinbin