Mobile Internet speed up to 8.24Mbps in 4th quarter of 2016

MANILA -- Mobile Internet in the country has accelerated, as telco operators have undertaken major network investments in the past year to further improve the speed.

Latest findings from the Asia Network Quality Report of J.P. Morgan Securities for the fourth quarter of 2016 show that the average LTE download speeds in the country went up to 8.24 megabits per second (Mbps) in the last quarter of 2016, from the 7.27 Mbps national LTE average posted in the previous quarter.

This is ahead of Indonesia’s LTE average speed of 6.66 Mbps for the same period.

Smart posted the highest overall LTE download speeds at 9.17 Mbps, according to the same report, which cited crowd-sourced data gathered by wireless coverage research firm OpenSignal.

The company has also taken the lead in the national Capital Region for 3G, with download speeds of 2.85 Mbps, the report shows.

LTE download speeds across areas ranged from 7.39 Mbps in the Visayas to 9.99 Mbps in Metro Manila.

These improvements have been driven as operators ramp up their investments to upgrade their data networks.

Smart’s network rollout took a big bulk of parent company PLDT’s ramped-up capital expenditure program of USD1 billion for 2016, with an additional USD100 million allocated to utilize the new frequencies freed up with the acquisition of San Miguel Corporation’s telco assets.

“This rollout is elevating the bar for mobile Internet services in the country and serves as a more powerful platform for advanced and relevant digital services that will help transform the country into a more competitive, digitally-empowered nation,” said Ray Espinosa, chief corporate services officer at PLDT and Smart.

“We are asking for our customers’ patience and understanding while we are making a lot of changes in our network facilities. These activities are being done during the most inactive hours of the day, and we are putting systems in place to keep to a minimum the impact on our subscribers. In the end, our commitment to all our subscribers is that they will enjoy progressively better mobile data services in the next few months, particularly for those using LTE devices,” said Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor for PLDT and Smart.

Horn added that this acceleration of LTE deployment is because LTE, an all-IP network, delivers superior experience for users, particularly for data. It can also be quickly upgraded to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide even faster speeds and greater capacity.

Smart began rolling out its first LTE-A service in April 2016 in preparation for the rise of bandwidth-heavy services such as video streaming and gaming, using a capability called “Carrier Aggregation.”

Initially rolled out in Boracay, Smart’s LTE-A service delivers peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps to users with LTE-A capable. (PNA)