PLDT, Smart internet speeds improved significantly: Ookla

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    Internet speeds of PLDT Inc. and its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. have significantly improved in the last three years driven by the increased investment on their network upgrade and expansion.

    PLDT said as of?\ 2020, average fixed broadband download speed was at 32.20 megabits per second (Mbps), whereas Smart’s average mobile download speed stood at 17.82 Mbps, posting improvements of 78 percent and 71 percent, respectively, compared to 2017, based on analysis by Ookla of tests taken with Speedtest.

    Heeding the government’s call to elevate the country’s telecommunications industry and delivery of world-class services, PLDT recently announced it was prepared to invest between P88 billion and P92 billion this year to meet the requirements of its mobile and fixed line customers.?

    “Providing good customer experience remains to be our ‘North Star’, as we aim to elevate PLDT and Smart to the level of global operators,” said Alfredo Panlilio, Smart president and chief executive officer and PLDT chief revenue officer.???

    The Philippines’ telecom services also improved, with average mobile speed up by 62 percent and fixed broadband speed up by 86 percent between 2017 and 2020 based on the results of more than 120 million tests taken with Speedtest in the country in 2020. ?

    Fixed broadband average download speed in the Philippines improved by 86 percent from 14.36 Mbps to 26.69 Mbps between 2017 and 2020, while mobile broadband average download speed rose by 62 percent?from 9.68?Mbps to 15.72 Mbps over the same period.

    PLDT and Smart have further expanded the reach and capacity of their fixed and mobile networks to serve the increased data demands of the ‘new normal.’?

    PLDT said as of December 2020, its fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country, comprised more than 429,000 kilometers. This fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s mobile network, which now covers 96 percent of the population and is available in 95 percent of the country’s cities and municipalities.

    Smart increased the number of its base stations to over 59,000 by end-2020 and rolled out additional fifth generation (5G) sites as it accelerates its 5G commercial services nationwide.?

    The PLDT Group’s investments in capital expenditure totaled P260 billion from 2015 to 2019.

    To date, Smart has over 10,000 sites across the country, including more than 700 new cell sites fired up in 2020 despite mobility restrictions and supply chain challenges due to the new coronavirus.

    These enabled Smart to increase its Long Term Evolution population coverage, cover more municipalities and provide more capacity for dense areas. Smart is planning to roll out an additional 2,000 cell sites in 2021.