Philippine internet among world’s worst: study

The Philippines’ many mountainous islands are not easily brought online. Source: Wikimedia

Philippine mobile internet speeds are some of the worst in the world in terms of 4G LTE (fourth generation long-term evolution) speed and accessibility, a study claims.

UK-based OpenSignal, which analyses crowd-sourced data from around 358,000 LTE global users around the world, put the Philippines near the bottom, 62nd out of 68 countries in terms of LTE speed from October to December last year.

4G LTE is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals.

The results in OpenSignal’s LTE report, said the archipelago had an average LTE download speed of 6 megabits per second (mbps). It beat Pakistan (4 mbps), Saudi Arabia (3 mbps) Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Iran but was extremely slow compared with Singapore (37 mbps) and South Korea (27 mbps).

OpenSignal said the global average LTE speed was 13.5 mbps, faster than the LTE speed in the United States, which recorded 10 mbps.

The Philippines also performed poorly in LTE coverage, measuring the time subscribers had access to the service. The Philippines finished in 65th place globally with 43-per-cent coverage. Only Ecuador, Costa Rica and Sri Lanka had less coverage among the countries studied.

South Korea came top with 97 per cent and Japan with 90 per cent, meaning LTE coverage was almost always available.

The data was based on information gathered from Globe and Smart users, the two telecommunications companies that offer LTE in the Philippines.

“Time coverage measures the proportion of time users spend connected to a particular network, whether they’re indoors or out, on the move or standing still. We represent time coverage as a percentage, so if an LTE network has 80 percent time coverage, that means its customers, on average, can get an LTE signal 80 per cent of the time,” the report said.

OpenSignal also provided data for specific providers. It said Smart Communications’ 7 mbps beat competitor Globe Telecom which had 4 mbps during the last quarter of 2015.