Globe Telecom saw its mobile data traffic soar by 59% to 956 petabytes in 2018 from 600 petabytes in 2017, fueled by more customers streaming videos on their smartphones and tablets.
“Almost 60% of our mobile data traffic is generally coming from video streaming. The dominance of video consumption over our mobile data traffic makes it a prime service for our customers. The surge of traffic in our network is a testament to the trust and confidence of our customers in providing them an overall mobile internet experience,” said Gil Genio, Globe chief technology and information officer.
In order to continuously improve the overall quality of experience of its customers, Globe said it regularly tests not only for raw speed but for overall quality of experience.
“Raw speed is one but overall quality of experience is another. We use a variety of metrics, like buffering time, resolution of the video, playback start time, and average download throughput. That is because the path that your phone takes to the site to the core to the landing station to all the way where the content is cached — all that have to be taken into account,” Genio said.
Data from Globe, for instance, showed that the number of YouTube videos meeting 360p resolution went up to 77% in December 2018 from 69% in May 2018. This improvement comes as Globe Telecom’s LTE cells continuously grow to 81,210 in December 2018, from 58,482 in January 2018.
“If you try to stream video on your device using the mobile data network, your device negotiates the right network resources, and most of the time, a relatively good video experience is carried on 5 Mbps to 7 Mbps speeds,” Genio said.
According to Netflix, viewers need somewhere between 0.7 Mbps and 5.3 Mbps to stream a movie. Based on Netflix calculations, viewers would need more than the basic 4 Mbps for the best-quality streaming HD video.
Genio said Globe is actively pursuing all fronts – network, content partners, down to the customer service support – to allow its customers to have the best quality of experience possible.
The company has earmarked a capital expenditure (capex) guidance of P63 billion for 2019 to address the robust data traffic growth and support its increasing customer base with the ramped-up cell site deployment.
As of end 2018, Globe clocked in 74.1 million mobile customers, a 22% increase from 2017. Mobile data continued to be the top contributor to Globe total mobile business, with revenues amounting to P50.8 billion for 2018.