Report: Smart trumps Globe for ‘best video experience’ in PH

In a new report, mobile analytics company OpenSignal has cited wireless operator Smart Communications for providing its customers the best video experience in the country.

OpenSignal has published an independent analysis of the customer experience for video services by telecom carriers in Asia, showing that Smart garnered a video experience score of 42.2, well ahead of rival Globe Telecom in the Philippines and well above the national average.

According to the report, which covered the months of May to July this year, Smart’s overall LTE download speeds were at 13.02 Mbps against Globe Telecom’s 7.34 Mbps.

In that same report, Smart won four OpenSignal awards: fastest 4G LTE download speed; fastest overall download speed; fastest 4G upload speed and lowest 3G latency. OpenSignal also recognized that no other operator had lower 4G latency than Smart.

OpenSignal’s video experience metric uses an International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based approach for measuring video quality. It is derived from several underlying parameters based on real-world measurements of video streams from the world’s largest video content providers.

“Our ‘YouTube Everyday’ promo was part of our initiative to unlock the billions of hours of content online for every Filipino. We were confident that our customers would enjoy the experience because we built a world-class network that can cater to their demanding video needs. This report from Open Signal validates not just our strategy, but the work put in by the entire company to build our network,” said PLDT-Smart chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Smart launched in April its YouTube promo, under which subscribers get to enjoy an hour of YouTube for free daily if they purchase various mobile data packages. The promo, which ran until the end of October, boosted the number of YouTube users by nearly 400% and the volume of YouTube traffic by over 850%.

Studies show that video has become the main driver of mobile data usage worldwide. Filipinos, in particular, are among the most avid video consumers in the world, according to a recent research report by content delivery firm Limelight Networks.

The study, which collected responses from 10 countries in August 2018, showed that viewers in the Philippines watch the most online video each week at 8 hours and 46 minutes — even more than India and the US, where people watched close to 8 and a half hours of online video. The Philippine average surpassed the global count, which was at 6.75 hours.

To meet this growing demand for mobile data, Smart has continued its deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE), LTE-Advanced and carrier aggregation technology across the Philippines through re-equipping cell sites with low-frequency and high-frequency bands for improved coverage, capacity and speeds.

As of end-September, Smart has equipped over 5,600 base stations across the country with LTE, not only to expand LTE coverage but also to lay the ground for LTE-A, which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with LTE-compatible smartphones. This puts the total count of LTE base stations at over 14,300.

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