PLDT, Smart remain Philippines fastest network
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart Communications remained as the country’s fastest fixed and mobile internet networks, respectively, according to global leader in internet testing and analysis Ookla.

Ookla named PLDT as the Philippines’ speedtest winner for fixed network speed during the first half, achieving a speed score of 24.79, with top download speeds of 70.54 Mbps and top upload speeds of 85.38 Mbps.

Converge ICT came second for fixed network speed with a score of 21.53, followed by SKY with 15.56, and Globe with 9.17.

Smart, meanwhile, was hailed by Ookla as the country’s speedtest winner during the first six months, posting a speed score of 18.33, with average download speeds of 15.94 Mbps and average upload speeds of 7.57 Mbps.

This is in comparison to Globe’s speed score of 12.35.

Speed score is a measure that takes into account both upload and download speeds.

“Over half a billion users rely on speedtest to measure their internet performance every year. Ookla analyzes these test results to get an unparalleled view into mobile and fixed broadband metrics around the world,” Ookla CEO Doug Suttles said.

“It is our pleasure to recognize Smart as the fastest mobile network and PLDT as the fastest fixed network in the Philippines based on our rigorous analysis. These awards are a testament to PLDT and Smart’s exceptional performance, as experienced by their own customers, in the first quarter and the second quarter,” Suttles said.

Ookla’s country reports showed Smart recorded big leads in key areas like Quezon City, Cebu City and Makati City, while PLDT was ahead in Quezon City, Cebu City and Davao City.

PLDT and Smart have taken steps to significantly expand network capacity, particularly for data internet transport.

Last year, the PLDT Group’s capital expenditures reached a record P72.9 billion. For this year, capex is expected to reach P70 billion despite the slowdown in network rollout due to the quarantine controls imposed in the second quarter.

“The results of these consumer-initiated tests highlight the beneficial impact of the sustained investments we have made in our network infrastructure over the past five years.  As a result, we have been able to ensure that our customers have the best data experience, even amid the global pandemic,” PLDT-Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering Mario Tamayo said.

“We have achieved this by continuing our network expansion program, particularly by steadily extending the reach and increasing capacity of our 4G/LTE network.  We’ve done this by combining the rollout of our physical installations with software systems upgrades that can be done remotely,” Tamayo said.

PLDT’s chairman, president and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan earlier said the country’s position in terms of internet speed statistics, which have been often regarded as among the slowest globally, would be higher if PLDT is the sole basis.

“Ookla, Open Signal used the country figures and there are quite a number of internet service providers in this country and there’s one or two more telcos. So when it’s all bunched together, I think we tend to, our average goes down, frankly,” Pangilinan said  during BusinessWorld’s one-on-one online interview series last month.

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