Smart, Globe 4G availability scores improve

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PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. and Globe Telecom, Inc. have further improved their 4G availability scores, according to a recent report by wireless coverage mapping company Opensignal.

In its latest Mobile Network Experience Report, the United Kingdom-based Opensignal said Smart’s 4G availability score, or the time users spend being connected to the 4G network, reached 81.8%.

Opensignal said it had analyzed data gathered from Nov. 1, 2019 to Jan. 29, 2020.

“Globe also increased its 4G availability score to 77.8% but a gap of 4 points now exists between the two operators,” it added.

In its previous analysis covering September to November 2019 data, Opensignal said Globe was the only network in the country that passed the 75% 4G availability mark nationwide with a score of 75.3%. Smart’s score was 74.3%.

Opensignal also included an analysis of the gaming experience in the country in its latest report.

Smart scored 36.9 (very poor) on a scale of 0-100, according to Opensignal.

Globe’s lower score of 35.9 likewise fell into the “very poor” category.

“This means the majority of users found the gaming experience to be in need of improvement with too noticeable delays within games and where players often didn’t feel like they had full control over the gameplay. In poor network conditions, mobile multiplayer games’ AI often steps in automatically to reduce some of the apparent negative impacts for users,” Opensignal explained.

In terms of video experience, Smart’s score increased 15.6%, from the previously reported score, to 55 on a scale of 0-100.

Smart was in the “fair” category while Globe’s score of 39.8, although an improvement of 30.6% from the previous report, was in the “poor” category.

In terms of voice apps experience, Smart scored 64.8 on a scale of 0-100, slightly higher than Globe’s 64. Both of them fell into the “very poor” category.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for the operators to reduce call quality impairments such as distortion, clicking sounds and silence,” Opensignal said.

Smart likewise improved in terms of download experience, with its users experiencing an overall download speed of 10.6 Mbps, 12.8% higher than the previously reported 9.4 Mbps speed.

Globe users reported download speeds of 7.6 Mbps from the previously reported 6.5 Mbps.

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. — Arjay L. Balinbin