Smart leads in Opensignal’s independent analysis of PH mobile experience

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) delivers the best video experience across the Philippines and in 18 regions and provinces, based on the latest independent report from mobile analytics company Opensignal.

The Philippines Mobile Network Experience Report September 2019, which covered the period May 1 to July 29, 2019 and independently analyzed over 533 million measurements from over 190,000 devices, found that Smart won in four categories—Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience—and scored a draw in 4G Availability.

Smart’s Video Experience score was 47.6, well ahead of competition’s score of 30.4.

Smart won 4 awards in the latest Opensignal report. PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan received the awards from Opensignal executives Andy Burns and Rob Lerner. Also present during the ceremonies were Smart President Al S. Panlilio and PLDT-Smart chief technology and information advisor Joachim Horn.

“Smart’s Video Experience score of 47.6 out of 100 places it comfortably in our Fair ranking bracket (40-55), which means its users may be able to watch videos with reasonable load times and minimal stalling at low resolutions,” Peter Boyland, Opensignal senior analyst, wrote. “Globe’s score of 30.4, however, is well into Poor ranking (0-40) territory, meaning its users will struggle to get anything close to an acceptable Video Experience, even at the lowest resolutions.”

In terms of overall Download Speed Experience, which factors in both 3G and 4G download speeds along with the availability of each technology, Smart posted 9.4 Mbps, ahead of Globe’s 6.5 Mbps. In terms of 4G Download Speed alone, Smart scored 12.7 Mbps, compared to the competition’s 8.3 Mbps.

In terms of overall Upload Speed Experience, Smart posted 3.3 Mbps, ahead of the competition’s 1.7 Mbps.

In terms of Latency Experience, which is measured in milliseconds and refers to the delay users experience as data makes a round trip through the network, Smart also scored better at 61.9ms, compared to competition’s 64.2ms. When measuring Latency Experience, a lower number is better.

Regional analysis

The latest Opensignal report also includes data from 19 regions and provinces across the Philippines – Aklan, Batangas, Benguet, Bulacan, Cavite, Cebu, Davao del Sur, Iloilo, Laguna, Metro Manila, Misamis Oriental, Negros Occidental, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal, South Cotabato and Tarlac.

Smart dominated Video Experience in 18 provinces, leading by as much as 29.4 points and 21.4 points in Nueva Ecija and Metro Manila, respectively.

In terms of Download Speed Experience, Smart was also ahead in Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Batangas, Quezon, Cebu, Iloilo, Misamis Oriental and South Cotabato, while in terms of Upload Speed Experience, Smart also led in 18 provinces.

In terms of Latency Experience, both operators scored a draw in most areas, with Smart leading in Metro Manila and Quezon province.

“These results are a testament to Smart’s commitment to continuously improve and expand our network across the country in order to support our customers’ growing appetite for mobile data,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering.

Smart won in 4 categories – Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience.

Smart won in 4 categories – Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience.

Network transformation

Amid Smart’s Video Every Day and Giga Gaming offers, increasing data usage for video and games, alongside robust subscriber growth and increasing adoption of LTE SIMs and smartphones, have boosted PLDT’s consumer wireless business revenues for the first half of 2019, which grew 20% year-on-year to P34.4 billion.

Powering these services is PLDT and Smart’s sustained fixed and mobile network roll out and modernization. PLDT’s total fiber infrastructure spanning over 283,000 kilometers at the end of June also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity links to its more than 19,000 LTE base stations.

PLDT has set aside a historic-high capital expenditure program in 2019 amounting to P78.4 billion, to further enhance the reach and capacity of its fiber-powered fixed line broadband network and LTE and 3G mobile networks, as well as modernize its IT support systems.


PLDT, Smart fire up PH’s first 5G cell sites in Makati and Clark

Leading telecoms company and digital services provider PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have fired up the country’s first 5G cell sites in the Makati Central Business District and at the Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) in Pampanga.

PLDT and Smart on-aired the first 5G cell site at the PLDT headquarters in Makati City with technology partner Huawei, while it also activated the first 5G cell site at the Clark Smart 5G City in the CFZ with technology partner Ericsson. The 5G cell sites are 3GPP standard compliant and are the first to be activated in the Philippines.


Among top global operators

“I am happy to announce that PLDT and Smart just fired up the first 5G cell sites in the country, putting the company alongside the first-tier operators in the world to have deployed live 5G base stations. This is part of our commitment to bring the most advanced technologies to the country,” said PLDT and Smart chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

By firing up a 5G cell site in a central business district, PLDT and Smart are looking to pilot 5G solutions catered to densely populated areas.

“With 5G resources now in place, we are looking at developing 5G solutions and applications for central business district areas like Makati, which host a dense population of businesses, people and advanced devices,” said Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT and Smart Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.

This is in line with PLDT and Smart’s recently signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Clark Development Corp. to transform the CFZ into the country’s first Smart 5G City.

Powerful platform for solutions

“With 5G cell sites now live and on-air, we are now set to test 5G’s powerful platform to develop solutions such as autonomous vehicles, connected fleets, and smart buildings and factories, and be able to deliver 5G services to our customers soon,” said Joachim Horn, PLDT-Smart chief technology and information advisor.

According to Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering, Smart is continuously upgrading its network’s Core and Transport elements, including upgrading to fiber the backhaul connecting the network’s cell sites around the country and deploying 5G-ready equipment in its ongoing nationwide LTE roll-out. In the CFZ, PLDT and Smart are also ramping up the roll-out of LTE in key areas and equipping all of them with 5G facilities in the coming months.

“I would like to congratulate PLDT and Smart for this momentous occasion as they lay the foundation for the network infrastructure, to take it to the next level as it enables the country to fully realize its ambition toward a more digitalized economy. I am very happy to be part of this partnership as we enable 5G capability in Smart network today,” said Ericsson’s Nunzio Mirtillo, Market Area Head for South East Asia, Oceania and India.

According to Arthur Wang, director of Huawei Philippines’ PLDT group account: “We are happy to partner with PLDT and Smart in helping bring 5G to PLDT-Smart. Through this partnership, we hope to continue developing more innovations to deliver digital services to PLDT and Smart customers.”

Powered by PH’s most extensive fibver network

Armed with both fixed and wireless infrastructure powered by the country’s most extensive fiber network now at over 221,000 kilometers, PLDT and Smart are best positioned to deploy 5G in the country.

5G opens up exciting possibilities for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and smart cities for Filipinos, particularly for the transport sector, traffic management, manufacturing, airport and mall operations, logistics and warehousing, retail, customer support, and smart homes, among others.

Apart from ultra-high speeds, the key features of 5G include enhanced mobile broadband services, massive machine type communications, and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications. (Press Release)

Business People

MVP is Asia’s telco CEO of the Year

PLDT and Smart Communications chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan was named Telecom CEO of the Year at the Telecom Asia Awards ceremony held on June 26 in Singapore.

The Telecom Asia Awards is the region’s longest-running industry awards program, which seeks to recognize the continent’s premier service providers and telco executives. It is organized annually by Telecom Asia, the largest telecom publishing group in the region.

Also nominated for the award won by Pangilinan were Andrew Kwok of HGC Global Communications Limited, Bill Barney of Reliance Communications & Global Cloud Xchange, Chua Sock Koong of the Singtel Group, Dian Siswarini of XL Axiata, Ernest Cu of Globe Telecom, Vinod Kumar of Tata Communications, and Yang Jie of China Telecom.

Reinvent businesses

“I accept this award with caution and humility,” Pangilinan said. “I am very mindful that in this age of relentless disruption, each new day brings fresh challenges. If anything, this award serves as a reminder that we must keep striving to reinvent our businesses and improve the lives of our people.”

He added: “I must also thank my colleagues at PLDT and Smart for the great work they have done in transforming our network and creating new digital businesses for the group. In these times, collaboration is critical to success. This honor belongs to them as well, and I am proud to accept this on their behalf.”

Under Pangilinan’s leadership, PLDT and Smart have committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation. This year, capital expenditures are expected to reach P58 billion, and will likely stay at that level over the next two years, bringing the group’s total capex to nearly P260 billion since it embarked on its network and IT transformation programs in 2016.

Improved coverage

Aiming to bring world-class connectivity to Filipinos all over the country, Smart accelerated the deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE), LTE-Advanced, and carrier aggregation technology by re-equipping cell sites with low-frequency and high-frequency bands for improved coverage, capacity, and speeds. Carrier aggregation is the capability of LTE-A to combine two or more radio frequency bands to deliver bigger bandwidth and faster data speeds.

Manny V. Pangilinan
MVP. PLDT and Smart Communications chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan.

In the first quarter of 2018 alone, Smart installed more than 1,300 LTE base stations, raising the total count to more than 10,000. This year, Smart plans to double the number of LTE base stations on its network to about 17,700 and raise the number of LTE-equipped cell sites to 6,800.

The accelerated rollout has boosted revenues, with mobile data revenues jumping 21% to P6.5 billion in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2017. Data now accounts for 44% of the revenues of the wireless individual business.

Improvements in network

Third-party tests have also noted improvements on Smart’s network. Independent mobile analytics firm OpenSignal has cited Smart for having the Philippines’ fastest LTE network. Apart from winning the best in 4G LTE download speed award from OpenSignal, Smart was also cited for having the best overall download speed, best 4G latency performance, and best 3G latency performance.

Smart is also at the forefront of heralding fifth-generation wireless broadband technologies and services in the country, or 5G. Just last week, Smart, together with its technology partner Huawei Technologies Phils. Inc., successfully breached 5G speeds of over 14Gbps during a test held at the recently launched 5G TechnoLab, PLDT-Smart’s flagship facility for the research and development, standardization, and testing of 5G. (Press Release)

Business Tech

PLDT Home, Smart sign partnership with ABS-CBN for iWant TV

In a groundbreaking partnership, the country’s leading digital services providers PLDT Home and Smart Communications have teamed up with multimedia conglomerate ABS-CBN for iWant TV, the network’s streaming service for TV shows, movies and other exclusive digital content.

Under the partnership, PLDT Home and Smart subscribers will soon be able to use their prepaid load or postpaid account to binge-watch and catch up on their favorite ABS-CBN shows, blockbuster films and other top-rated content on on their computers or Smart TVs, or on the iWant TV app on their mobile phones and tablets.

Both PLDT Home and Smart will also soon roll out exciting offers to let millions of subscribers enjoy iWant TV content at their fingertips.

PARTNERSHIP. PLDT and Smart Chair Manny V. Pangilinan and ABS-CBN Chair Eugenio Gabby Lopez III lead the signing of the milestone partnership of PLDT Home and Smart Communications with ABS-CBN for iWant TV. Also in the photo are (from left) Oscar Reyes, FVP and Head of Home Business for PLDT; Ariel P. Fermin, EVP and Head of Consumer Business for PLDT and Smart; Carlo Katigbak, ABS-CBN President & CEO; and Rolando Valdueza, ABS-CBN Group CFO.

Expand digital content

Using iWant TV, subscribers may stream the past and current ABS-CBN shows like On the Wings of Love, Dolce Amore, Ang Probinsiyano and Til I Met You, as well as News and Current Affairs shows, among many others – anytime and anywhere.

This latest deal is set to further expand the widest breadth of digital content available to PLDT Home and Smart subscribers, as well as bolster the group’s thrust to deliver converged services that offer an unrivaled digital experience for Filipinos.

To get started with iWant TV, users can register for an account via or download the iWant TV app on their Android and iOS devices.


Cebu News Digest: Jan. 11, 2015: Manny Pangilinan group proposal to build 3rd bridge approved; LTFRB okays P7 new minimum jeepney fare; Talisay, Tuburan win in Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan

It looks like the 3rd Mactan-Cebu bridge project is moving in earnest after the groundbreaking at the start of the year with the Cebu City Government approving the proposal by the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC). An in another bit of good news, the minimum fare in Central Visayas is now P7.
In the battle against drugs, a man whom police said was a big-time drug pusher was arrested with P700,000 worth of shabu.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for today, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015:

MVP. Business Manuel Pangilinan leads the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., whose proposal to build the 3rd Mactan-Cebu bridge was approved by Cebu City Hall. Pangilinan is shown above during a PLDT stockholders' meeting.
MVP. Business Manuel Pangilinan leads the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., whose proposal to build the 3rd Mactan-Cebu bridge was approved by Cebu City Hall. Pangilinan is shown above during a PLDT stockholders’ meeting.

Cebu City approves Manny Pangilinan-led company to build 3rd Mactan-Cebu bridge

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has declared the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) the original proponent of the 3rd bridge that will link Cordova to Cebu City. Sun.Star Cebu reported that Rama signed the certification declaring MPTC the original proponent of the project based on a review by the Cebu City Joint Venture Committee.

Rama and Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy led the groundbreaking of the project on Shell Island.

“Based on our review, the proposal was really original and they did not copy other designs.” — City Administrator Lucelle Mercado, in Sun.Star Cebu report.

Mercado heads the Cebu City Joint Venture Committee. She said they already forwarded the certification to MPTC so they can start talking about terms. Mercado said that if no one challenges the proposal then the MPTC will be implementing the project.

LTFRB approves P7 minimum jeepney fare for Central Visayas

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has approved a 50-centavo provisional cut in the jeepney fare in Central Visayas, according to a report by The Freeman.

LTFRB 7 Director Reynaldo Elnar said his recommendation for the P7 minimum fare was approved by their board last Thursday and might be implemented starting Monday. Elnar said the new fare will be announced by LTFRB chairman Winston Gines, who will be in Cebu with other board members on Monday for a meeting on the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project.

Elnar said he will call for a public consultation on January 16 on calls to also cut the fares of other public utility vehicles. Rep. Manuel Iway, who used to be with LTFRB, filed a petition to cut the taxi flagdown rate from P30 to P20 and the fare for each succeeding 300 meters from P3.50 to P2.50.

JEEPNEY FARE CUT. The LTFRB has approved P7 as the new minimum fares for jeepneys in Central Visayas. (Creative Commons photo by razordu30 in Flickr)
JEEPNEY FARE CUT. The LTFRB has approved P7 as the new minimum fares for jeepneys in Central Visayas. (Creative Commons photo by razordu30 in Flickr)

Talisay City, Tuburan win top spots in Sinulog Sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan

The Talisay City Central Elementary School and the Tinubdan sa Kauswagan Cultural Troupe of Tuburan won their respective divisions during the Sinulog Sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan yesterday. They each won P300,000.

Talisay’s performance told the discovery of the Sto. Niño image in San Nicolas on April 28, 1565, which is commemorated as the Kaplag.

Talisay Mayor JVR threatens to sue over City Council’s decision to cut proposed budget for his office

Talisay City Mayor Johnny De los Reyes said he will file a complaint before the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Ombudsman-Visayas over the City Council’s cut by almost half of the proposed budget for his office.

De los Reyes proposed a P41.82 million for his office but this was slashed by the council to P20.31 million.

P700,000 worth of shabu seized during arrest of suspected big-time dealer in Carcar

Police seized P700,000 worth of shabu during the arrest of Rodel Quijano in a drug buy-bust Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City last Friday.

Senior Insp. Leo Logronio of the Cebu Provincial Police Office Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) said Quijano can sell more than 50 grams of shabu per week and is part of the drugs watchlist of Carcar City.

He said Quijano is also in their watch list of alleged drug personalities in Carcar City.

Man uses toy gun to rob taxi drive, arrested

A MAN is accused of robbing a taxi driver in Mandaue City using a toy gun on Friday morning. The accused robber, identified as Gabriel Marie Limotan, was brought to the Mandaue police station by the driver, Brian Rabago.

Limotan hailed Rabago in Barangay Basak at 7 a.m. on Friday and asked to be brought to Barangay Cambarao. He then poked what later turned out to be a toy gun on Rabago’s neck and told him to surrender his money. The driver handed his P300 in fares but noticed the gun was a toy. He quickly speeded off toward the Mandaue police office where Rabago was then detained.

Other top news stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Man accused of killing Toledo City barangay captain reported to have offered to surrender amid threats to his life

“He was told that the relatives of the victim are also hunting him down. It’s better if he will surrender, at least we can assure his safety.” — Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Noel Gillamac