PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) continues to lead across all regions in terms of LTE speeds, according to the latest regional results collated by wireless coverage research firm OpenSignal.
“The latest OpenSignal results show that where we have LTE, we deliver the fastest speeds, and we are rapidly expanding our network’s reach to make this available to more Filipinos, starting with urban hubs like Metro Davao, Metro Cebu and Metro Manila, where there is a significant concentration of LTE device users, ” said Eric Alberto, PLDT Group Chief Revenue Officer.
“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 competition by huge margins in our test results (by more than 4 Mbps in both cases),” OpenSignal noted in its report.
Smart posted LTE speeds of 11.7 Mbps in Mindanao (vs 6.4 Mbps) and 12.4 Mbps in Metro Manila (vs 7.8 Mbps). Smart also led in North Luzon at 8.3 Mbps (vs 6.6 Mbps) and South Luzon at 9.3 Mbps (vs 6.8 Mbps). It posted average download speeds of 7.1 Mbps in the Visayas.
OpenSignal also noted that Smart’s 4G availability score was much higher in Metro Manila compared to the national average, with Smart’s NCR 4G availability at 67.5 percent—15 points higher than the national score. “This shouldn’t come as a surprise as the NCR is essentially the metro area of Manila, a very densely populated region,” OpenSignal said.
“Through our network improvement efforts, PLDT and Smart are leading the way to improving internet and digital services for Filipinos all over the country to make the best mobile data experience more accessible to our customers,” Alberto added.
“Apart from improving the network, Smart is also setting the pace in putting LTE within the reach of our customers by helping them shift to LTE devices to experience our improved network,” Alberto said.
Earlier this month, Smart announced that it was upgrading its cell sites and doubling its LTE capacity in Marikina and Quezon City as part of its network expansion and modernization program. The upgrade is expected to improve Smart’s mobile data service, particularly LTE and 3G, and provide superior network capacity to customers who live and work in the two cities.
Smart has already finished its LTE rollout in the country’s top urban hubs Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, in the island resort of Boracay, and in Rizal province. It is currently underway in Metro Manila.
This comprehensive network modernization and expansion program is at the core of the PLDT group’s digital pivot.
Smart’s network rollout took a big bulk of PLDT’s ramped-up capital expenditure program of P42.8 billion for 2016, which included the utilization of the new frequencies freed up with the acquisition of San Miguel Corporation’s telco assets.