Despite the aggressive network expansion of telecommunication companies, the Philippines’ over-the-top (OTT) voice service on apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger is considered “very poor,” with most users dissatisfied with the quality of service, according to the latest report of OpenSignal.
The State of Mobile Voice App Experience showed that out of 80 countries surveyed worldwide, the Philippines ranked 75th among the lowest score of 62.9 points.
The Philippines is however ahead of Ghana with 62.6 points, Cambodia with 62.1 points and Kenya, Libya and Uzbekistan with 61.2, 56.5 and 56.1 points, respectively.
The country’s score falls between 60 to 66 points and is considered “very poor,” which means most users are dissatisfied.
“Significant call quality impairments experienced by most users. Occasional instances of distortion, clicking sounds or silence experienced during the call. It can be difficult to understand parts of the conversation without repetition,” OpenSignal explained.
Europe dominates the good voice app experience ranking of the 80 countries analyzed for overall voice app experience, with 19 achieving good ratings (80 to 87) and only six were from outside Europe.
The top five countries include Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia and Finland with over 82 points.
These six included some of the usual high-flyers that appear in the top 10 for OpenSignal’s other metrics, including Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
“There is clear evidence of a global divide between more mature countries, fast growing ones and developing countries when it comes to Voice App Experience.
None of the European markets we analyzed scored less than an Acceptable ranking, while the vast majority of the African and Middle Eastern nations rated Poor or lower,” OpenSignal said.
It added the pattern was mirrored in the Americas, where United States and Canada ranked “acceptable” compared with barely a third of the Latin American markets including Brazil.
“Asia was a slightly different story, with countries ranking all the way from Good to Unintelligible. But the divide between mature and less developed markets was still visible, with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan all gaining Good ratings, while developing mobile countries including India, Indonesia and Cambodia were all firmly in the bottom third of the table – with Cambodia drifting into very poor territory,” OpenSignal added.
OpenSignal’s voice app experience measures the quality of experience for OTT voice services using a model derived from the International Telecommunication Union-based approach for quantifying overall voice call quality and a series of calibrated technical parameters.
Voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger offer an entirely new platform for users to call each other, bypassing the traditional cellular channels and offering a true online experience.
Voice apps offer flexibility across a number of devices and networks, and have soared in popularity as smartphones become more ubiquitous.
WhatsApp has an estimated 1.6 billion users worldwide, Facebook Messenger boasts 1.3 billion, while Skype has an estimated 300 million users – including its paid-for business arm.
Meanwhile, OpenSignal’s report on the Philippines’ mobile network experience in September showed Smart Communications Inc.’s download speed stood at 9.4 megabits per second (Mbps), while Globe Telecom Inc. posted 6.5 Mbps mobile internet speed.
For voice experience, Smart scored 47.6 points versus Globe’s 30.4 points, with both telcos recording fair improvement on their scores, OpenSignal said.