Smart edges Globe in terms of mobile video experience — report

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By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

WIRELESS coverage mapping firm Opensignal said Smart Communications, Inc. is “far in the lead” against its rival Globe Telecom, Inc. in terms of providing a seamless mobile video experience to customers in the Philippines.

Expanding on its September 2018 report “The State of Mobile Video” — which tested more than 8 million devices globally from May 14 to Aug. 11, 2018 — Opensignal said in a separate report on Thursday that network operators in the Philippines show a “big gap” in mobile experience performance.

“Our analysis shows that Smart has been doing its legwork, but it also raises the question of whether we will need to wait for 5G (fifth generation network) to see any improvement in Globe’s network experience,” Opensignal said.

The report mentioned two metrics used to measure video experience: Video Load Time and Video Stalling Occurrence.

In terms of Video Load Time, which is the measure of waiting time before a video starts playing when using a long term evolution (LTE) connection, Opensignal said the delay for Smart subscribers is usually around five seconds, while the average time for Globe subscribers is 8.3 seconds.

For Video Stalling Occurrence, which measures the frequency of video interruptions among users, Smart again took the lead with only 15.7% of its users experiencing stalling while playing a video, versus Globe’s 40.3%.

“Now that 4G (fourth generation network) access in the Philippines is becoming more and more of a commodity, all operators will need to focus on improving their subscribers’ experience in other areas beyond LTE reach,” Opensignal said.

Earlier this month, the firm released a report measuring the availability of 4G in the Philippines, which found both Smart and Globe successfully delivering an LTE connection more than 70% of the time.

Smart is the wireless unit of PLDT, Inc. 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.