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Manila ranks low in availability of LTE

/ 05:08 AM August 15, 2018

When it comes to LTE availability, the Philippines’ capital lagged behind major urban centers in East Asia, a crowdsourced survey showed on Tuesday.

OpenSignal, citing the results of a test covering March to May 2018, said in a blog post that LTE availability in Manila came in at 78.5 percent, the lowest among the 12 cities measured. The score was slightly below Ho Chi Minh’s 79.4 percent and Pnom Penh’s 79.8 percent.

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Seoul topped the list with 4G availability at a near ubiquitous 97.9 percent. It was followed by Tokyo (96.3 percent), Bangkok (92.1 percent), Hong Kong (90.4 percent) and Taipei (89.8 percent).

Commenting on LTE availability in Seoul, OpenSignal noted that it was “among the highest we have ever measured.”

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It added, however, that it was unlikely that cities could reach 100 percent given the presence of “notspots,” or areas with limited or no coverage that will “never go away completely as they’re part of the nature of building cellular networks.”

OpenSignal noted that those scoring between 80 percent and 90 percent were Singapore (86.6 percent), Jakarta (83.8 percent), Yangon (82.8 percent) and Kuala Lumpur (80.8 percent).

The results partly explain the growing level of spending PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom have committed in recent years. For 2018, the combined figure is expected to exceed P100 billion, a large portion of which would be deployed to bolster their LTE networks.

OpenSignal previously released an LTE speed report that showed Manila at the 9th spot out of 12 cities. 4G speed in the Philippine capital reached 11.6 megabits per second (Mpbs-download speed). Seoul again topped the list with a speed of 48.3 Mbps. It was followed by Singapore (47.6 Mbps), Taipei (28.5 Mbps), Yangon (27.2 Mbps) and Tokyo (26.4 Mbps). Jakarta sat at the bottom with 8.8 Mbps.

For this measure, OpenSiganal noted that the global average stood at 16.9 Mbps. Southeast Asian cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Phnom Penh all scored below the global average.

“While their speeds are nothing to brag about, Southeast Asia has other 4G priorities at the moment. A notable trend we’re tracking in the region is the intense focus on 4G availability over 4G speed,” OpenSignal said.

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