LTE in PH still one of world’s slowest
The Philippines continued to lag behind most countries in the world in terms of LTE speed and accessibility.
The latest report released by UK-based OpenSignal, which analyzes crowdsourced data from almost 358,000 LTE users around the world, ranked the Philippines at the bottom, placing 62nd out of 68 countries in terms of LTE speed from October to December last year.
The results, included in OpenSignal’s February 2016 State of LTE report, said the Philippines had an average LTE download speed of 6 megabits per second (mbps). It only did better than Pakistan (4 mbps) and Saudi Arabia (3 mbps), but fared poorly compared to its Asian neighbors, Singapore (37 mbps) and South Korea (27 mbps).
OpenSignal noted some telco operators were “pushing the upper boundaries of LTE speed,” increasing the global average to 13.5 mbps. That figure was faster than the LTE speed in developed countries like the United States, which recorded 10 mbps.
However, the Philippines did not fare much better in terms of LTE coverage, or the period of time subscribers had access to the service. The Philippines ranked 65th globally, at a 43-percent coverage.
That measure was topped by South Korea ( 97 percent) and Japan (90 percent), meaning LTE signal was almost always available in their respective countries.
OpenSignal also provided data for specific telco players. It said Smart Communications’ 7 mbps edged out rival Globe Telecom’s 4 mbps during the quarter under review.
Globe, an Ayala Group company, made up for this in terms of coverage. OpenSignal’s data showed Globe with 48 percent coverage against 38 percent for Smart, owned by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).
Both PLDT and Globe said investments would continue to improve their LTE networks. Globe plans to spend around $800 million (P38 billion) this year, while PLDT said spending would be similar to last year’s P43 billion budget. Both companies said the bulk of that amount would go toward improving high-speed Internet services.
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