Study shows 4G coverage in PH region by region

After publishing last month its Mobile Networks Update for the Philippines which documented the two-way competition between Smart and Globe in the 4G market, research firm OpenSignal has decided to add a new wrinkle to the analysis by examining how the two operators stack up regionally.

3G by region

The regional results largely mirror the national results in the same May-July test period. Globe dominated the 4G availability metrics, while Smart was strongest in the 4G speed tests.

The one exception was Visayas, where Globe and Smart were in a statistical tie for LTE speed, both averaging downloads of 7 Mbps in our measurements.

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Drilling down into the regional data, though, the survey showed a few interesting trends. In the National Capital Region, 4G availability — which measures the percentage of time our users had access to an LTE signal — was much higher for both operators than their national averages.

Globe’s availability score of 72.5% was 10 percentage points higher than its national results, while Smart’s score of 67.5% was nearly 15 percentage points higher.

“This shouldn’t come as a surprise as the NCR is essentially the metro area of Manila, a very densely populated region. But when we venture into the other regions, we get vastly different results,” it noted.

In Mindanao and Visayas, Globe roughly matched its national 4G availability of 62.6%, but throughout the rest of Luzon its results fall well short of that benchmark, according to our tests.

In Visayas, Smart regional results improved slightly on its national availability result of 52.7%, but our measurements in other regions were well below that mark.

In North Central Luzon, for instance, Smart was only able to provide our users an LTE connection 34% of the time.

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In 4G speed, Smart was really able to strut its stuff in the NCR and Mindanao. In those two regions Smart not only exceeded its national average LTE download speed of 10.6 Mbps, but it beat out Globe by huge margins in our test results (by more than 4 Mbps in both cases).

In the remaining three regions, OpenSignal measured a more even contest — especially in Visayas where the two operators were statistically tied — but Smart definitely had the upper hand.

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