Telcos post improved internet speeds in H2 ’20


    PLDT Inc. and its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. have managed to lead in fixed and mobile internet speeds in the country during the second half of 2020 according to Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis.

    Ookla reported PLDT achieved a speed score of 27.28, with top download speed of 79.48 megabits per second (Mbps) and top upload speed of 92.18 Mbps.

    For the fixed network, Ookla said this is based on 74,788,737 customer-initiated tests taken with Speedtest for third to fourth quarter of 2020.

    Smart posted a speed score of 24.99, with average download speed of 20.08 Mbps and average upload speed of 7.42 Mbps, based on 3.9 million user-initiated tests taken with Speedtest in the Philippines from third to fourth quarter of 2020.

    These results are an improvement from the previous period, when PLDT posted a speed score of 24.79 and Smart, 18.33. 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. It is our pleasure to recognize PLDT and Smart as the Fastest Fixed and Mobile Networks in the Philippines based on our rigorous analysis. This award is a testament to PLDT and Smart’s exceptional performance, as experienced by their own customers, in Q3 (third quarter) and Q4 (fourth quarter),” said Doug Suttles, Ookla chief executive officer.

    Initial data included in Ookla’s country reports showed that Smart is way ahead in key areas like Quezon City, Cebu City and Makati City, while PLDT is ahead in Quezon City, Cebu City and Cagayan de Oro City.

    In Quezon City, Smart posted a download speed of 32.69 Mbps, double that of the competing network. This reflects the continuous network upgrade and expansion activities it undertook in the city, including the deployment of Long Term Evolution-Advanced and carrier aggregation, Smart said.

    For mobile, speed score incorporates a measure of each provider’s download and upload speed to rank network speed performance. Tests used to calculate speed score exclusively come from devices with “modern chipsets,” which are devices capable of connecting to the market’s fastest, generally available technology.

    For fixed, Ookla assesses the fastest network speeds attained across a given network, accounting for tests that are taken on various Speedtest applications that connect to a fixed network, including tests taken on mobile phones over a Wi-Fi connection. Each top carrier accounts for at least 3 percent of the sample size in the geographic area.

    To sustain this level of performance, PLDT and Smart are continuously investing in the expansion of their fixed and wireless networks across the country.

    PLDT recently announced that it was prepared to invest between P88 billion and P92 billion in capital expenditures this year. (M. Iglesias)