PHL shows vast improvement in 4G speeds — OpenSignal

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THE PHILIPPINES improved in long-term evolution (LTE) availability and speed from last year due to the expansion of services by the telecommunications giants, according to a recent report.

OpenSignal, a United Kingdom-based wireless coverage mapping company, said in a website post that both PLDT, Inc.’s Smart Communications, Inc. and Globe Telecom, Inc. showed “amazing growth” in their overall fourth generation (4G) speeds in tests over the last year. From the test period from March to May 2017, to the most recent test period of February to April 2018, Globe’s overall speed grew by 63% while Smart’s overall speed nearly doubled in the company’s measurements.

In the test done last year, Smart led in overall speed with 3.41 megabits per second (Mbps) while Globe recorded 3.33 Mbps. OpenSignal did not indicate the exact speed figures for the most recent test, however.

In the March 2018 report, Smart recorded 5.78 Mbps while Globe recorded 4.41 Mbps.

PH Operator overall speed by month

“Both operators were busy expanding the reach of their LTE services last year. Their 4G availability scores all increased considerably, which means that 4G smartphone owners were able to latch onto faster LTE connections more often,” OpenSignal said.

OpenSignal added that Smart had been expanding its footprint in LTE since last year, and that Globe has also been doing its own investments.

Smart said that in the first three months of the year, it has installed 1,300 more LTE base stations across the country, which brings the total count to over 10,000. It previously said aims to double the number of LTE base stations to about 17,700 and increase the number of LTE-equipped cell sites to over 6,800.

Globe on the other hand said it has deployed close to 1,700 LTE sites nationwide. Using the 2600 megahertz (MHz) frequency, Globe also fired up around 170 massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) sites. Globe said that massive MIMO technology enables a mobile network to multiply the capacity of a wireless connection without requiring more antennas.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo