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PH lags in world ranking on turtle-paced internet

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PH lags in world ranking on turtle-paced internet

/ 12:15 AM February 27, 2017

The Philippines ranked near the bottom worldwide in a measure of mobile internet speed and availability, based on a crowdsourced survey.

The results from United Kingdom-based OpenSignal, which claims to collect data from millions of smartphones worldwide, showed that the Philippines’ “overall speed” from Nov. 2016 to Jan. 31, 2017 stood at an average 3.33 megabits per second (mbps) on combined 3G and 4G networks.

That was the second slowest among a list of 87 countries, which showed South Korea, Norway and Hungary at the top three with 37.54 mbps, 34.77 mbps and 30 mbps, respectively.

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The Philippines was ahead of only Costa Rica, whose average mobile internet speed stood at 2.7 mbps. A few rungs ahead was Indonesia, which had a speed of 4.72 mbps.

The country’s major telco players PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, which continue to receive criticisms for spotty internet services, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. They have disputed OpenSignal’s metrics in the past, arguing the crowdsourced nature of the surveys were less precise than studies employed by other companies.

OpenSignal’s results stood in stark contrast with another mobile study conducted by United States-based Akamai, which said the Philippines was No. 1 in Asia-Pacific with a third quarter 2016 average speed of 13.9 mbps.

OpenSignal’s results, however, indicated that mobile internet availability, a measure sometimes left out in other studies, played a factor in its most recent results.

“For instance, a country with fast LTE speeds but low 4G availability might have a much lower overall speed than a country with moderate LTE speeds but a very high level of 4G availability,” OpenSignal noted.

In the same study, OpenSignal said Philippine mobile users spent about 39 percent of their time connected to a Wi-Fi network, ahead of Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia. South Koreans spent about 50 percent of the time connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Last Wednesday, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Rodolfo Salalima promised to tackle and solve the country’s internet quality concerns in a summit next month.

He said solutions were on the way, including an executive order that would cut the processing of permit times for building new telecommunications infrastructure.

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Despite mixed results on mobile internet, the Philippines continued to rank behind peers in terms of fixed-line internet quality.

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