A recent survey from J.P. Morgan Securities, a professional IT Services group in the country, revealed that mobile data speeds in the Philippines have improved as result of major network investments undertaken by telco operators in the past year.
Pinoys LTE Speeds Faster Than Indo Neighbors
As reported, LTE download speeds in the country went up to 8.24 Mbps in the last quarter of 2016, from the 7.27 Mbps national LTE average posted in the previous quarter. This development outran ASEAN neighbor Indonesia’s LTE average speed of 6.66 Mbps for the same period.
The same study, which cited crowd-sourced data gathered by wireless coverage research firm OpenSignal, also found that among Philippine carriers, Smart had the highest overall LTE download speeds at 9.17 Mbps.
SMART Takes the Lead
Philippine mobile giant Smart led in NCR for 3G, with download speeds of 2.85 Mbps, the report showed. LTE download speeds across areas ranged from 7.39 Mbps in the Visayas to 9.99 Mbps in Metro Manila.
These developments have been driven by the stepped up investments of operators to upgrade their data networks.
PLDT Geared to Upgrade Their System Further
PLDT’s wireless subsidiary Smart Communications is now undergoing a nationwide, 3-year network expansion and overhaul program to improve both coverage and quality of service, particularly its LTE service.
A major leg of this network expansion is currently underway in Metro Manila and in Metro Cebu, and is expected to significantly boost Smart’s voice, SMS, and mobile data services, especially its indoor LTE coverage, in these urban centers.
In 2017, Smart accomplished its network overhaul program in Boracay and Metro Davao, where users have already reported improved quality of LTE services.
According to initial tests done by Smart, the ongoing network rollout in and around Metro Manila has begun to pay off. For example, tests in Rizal province showed LTE download speeds of up to 18 Mbps.
Internet Is Also Fast in Cebu and Other Metros
In initial speed tests conducted by Smart in Cebu last week, it has been found that download speeds in excess of 20 Mbps, marked improvements from the Open Signal reports in end-2016 for LTE and 3G.
“We are asking for our customers’ patience and understanding while we are making a lot of changes in our network facilities. These activities are being done during the most inactive hours of the day, and we are putting systems in place to keep to a minimum the impact on our subscribers. In the end, our commitment to all our subscribers is that they will enjoy progressively better mobile data services in the next few months, particularly for those using LTE devices,” according to Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor for PLDT and Smart.
Expect Bigger, Better LTE Service Soon
Horn also stated that this acceleration of LTE deployment is because LTE, an all-IP network, will give superior experience for users, particularly for data. It can also be quickly upgraded to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide even faster speeds and greater capacity.
Smart’s LTE-A service, first launched in Boracay, delivers top speeds of more than 100 Mbps to users with LTE-A capabilities.