A full year into the era of 5th generation (5G) technology, the Philippines’ video experience score improved by 32% versus 2019, ranking fourth worldwide in terms of percentage improvement, next to Thailand, Nepal and Senegal.
This was according to Opensignal’s latest study, “The State of Mobile Network Experience in 2020″ released yesterday.
Video Experience measures the average video experience of Opensignal users on 3G and 4G networks.
It involves measuring real-world video streams and takes picture quality, video loading time and stall rate into account.
The study featured measurements from more than 43 million devices collected from Jan. 1 to March 30 in 2019 and 2020.
So far, the country’s mobile video experience has been improving in recent years as operators continue to roll out Long Term Evolution (LTE) nationwide.
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) posted the best mobile video experience in the Philippines since Opensignal launched the metric in 2019.
In Opensignal’s latest Philippines Mobile Network Experience Report, which covered Nov. 1, 2019 to Jan. 29, 2020, Smart also surpassed competition in most metrics, including Video Experience, where Smart posted a score of 55, well ahead of competition’s 39.8.
With the help of its parent firm PLDT, Smart improved its video service by improving its network, particularly its LTE roll out, to provide the best user experience to subscribers.
As of end-March, Smart increased the number of 4G/LTE base stations to 26,000, up 6% from end-2019 and 60% more than end-2018.
PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, which supports Smart’s network by providing high-capacity links to LTE base stations, is now at 338,500 kilometers nationwide, 5% more than end-2019 and up nearly 40% from end-2018.
In April, Smart further increased the capacity of its LTE network by reallocating its assigned 1800 Mhz frequency from 2G to 4G/LTE.
As a result, 3,785 base stations of Smart have also been providing additional capacity for its LTE network.
“Our continuous investments in our network and ongoing upgrades and expansion across the country allowed us to provide customers with the best mobile data experience,” noted Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering.
These network investments have also made Smart’s mobile video service more resilient in handling the sharp rise in data traffic during the lockdown due to the COVID pandemic.
“As operators in the Philippines reported a dramatic surge in data consumption, we found that the quality of the video streaming experience over 4G connections was resilient,” Opensignal’s Hardik Khatri wrote. The study covered Sept. 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 and examined the mobile experience in urban and rural areas in the National Capital Region, North and Central Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
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