Telecommunications

Smart cited for best mobile internet service delivery in the Philippines

Mobile services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), the wireless arm of the country’s largest integrated telco PLDT, has again been cited for providing the best mobile internet service in the country, according to a crowdsourcing-based survey by an international internet testing organization.

umlaut, the global benchmarking company is formerly known as P3, gave the “Best in Test” award, as well as recognized Smart for delivering the best-rated broadband coverage, user download experience, and latency experience.

Germany-based umlaut also cited Smart for consistently showing higher throughput rates than its competitor, even as COVID-19 restrictions hampered network personnel movement across the country.

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These findings were based on an analysis of 610 million samples collected from 268,000 users nationwide from February to July 2020.

Network development

In awarding the Best in Test certificate, umlaut said Smart posted an overall score of 692 out of a maximum of 1,000 points in umlaut’s benchmarking survey. This score includes Smart’s performance in terms of broadband coverage, download speed, and latency.

“From mid-April, Smart showed an upward pattern in their umlaut score, unlike their competitor,” umlaut said, adding that Smart’s scores “reflected continuous network development.”

umlaut also noted a “clear gap” between Smart and its competitor in terms of throughput rates. In Metro Manila, for example, umlaut cited that Smart showed “up to 50% higher maximum throughput rates” compared to its competitor over the six-month period.

“Our unique testing and scoring methodology focuses on the customer’s network experience and covers a wide range of mobile services, including popular applications. We see Smart ahead of the competition overall. This is particularly remarkable in a large country like the Philippines and shows that the operator is continuously investing in its network,” says Hakan Ekmen, CEO of umlaut.

Traffic

“This new technology also enabled us to remotely control, add capacity, activate services, and optimize and manage the user experience,” said Joachim Horn, PLDT chief technology and information adviser. “Because of this, we were able to cope with the massive increase in traffic and were able to do so 95% to 98% by working from home.”

Horn also highlighted the importance of ‘designing for peak throughput’ in order to deliver a consistent customer experience at a sustained level of data traffic.

“We have to design not just for the average—we have to design for peak throughput,” he said. “When we can cope with the peak throughput in the busiest time of the day—only then can our network be able to serve all customers on the service level we have promised.”