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3G world problems: PH lags in mobile internet ranking—survey

/ 11:53 AM February 24, 2017

The Philippines ranked near the bottom worldwide in a measure of mobile internet speed and availability, based on a crowdsourced survey.

The results from United Kingdom-based OpenSignal, which claims to collect data from millions of smartphones worldwide, showed that the country’s “overall” mobile speed from Nov. 2016 to Jan. 31, 2017 stood at an average of 3.33 megabits per second on combined 3G and 4G networks.

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That was the second-slowest among a list of 87 countries, part of OpenSignal’s regular Global State of Mobile Networks survey. It showed South Korea, Norway and Hungary at the top three spots with 37.54  mbps, 34.77 mbps and 30 mbps, respectively.

The Philippines was ahead of only Costa Rica, whose average mobile internet speed stood at 2.7 mbps. Indonesia, an archipelago often compared to the Philippines, fared slightly better with an overall speed of 4.72 mbps.

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The country’s major telco players PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, which still receive criticism for spotty internet services, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. They have disputed OpenSignal’s metrics in the past, arguing the crowdsourced nature of their surveys was less precise than the methodology employed by other third-party companies.

OpenSignal’s results stood in stark contrast with another mobile study released by United States-based Akamai Technologies, which said the Philippines was No. 1 in Asia Pacific, with a third quarter 2016 average speed of 13.9 mbps.

However, OpenSignal indicated that mobile internet availability, a measure sometimes left out in other studies, played a factor in its most recent speed score.

“For instance a country with fast LTE speeds but low 4G availability might have a much lower overall speed than a country with moderate LTE speeds but a very high level of 4G availability,” OpenSignal said.

In the same study, OpenSignal said Philippine mobile users spent about 39 percent of their time connected to a Wi-Fi network, ahead of Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia. South Koreans, already with the highest overall mobile speed, spent about 50 percent of the time connected to a Wi-Fi network.

On Wednesday, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) secretary Rodolfo Salalima promised to tackle and solve the country’s internet concerns in a summit next month.

He said state-led solutions, which included a new executive order that would cut the processing of permit times for building new telecommunications infrastructure, were due for release.

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TOPICS: 3G, 4G, Internet, internet speed, mobile data, mobile Internet, OpenSignal, survey, wi-fi
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