PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has won all categories in the latest Philippines Mobile Network Experience Awards by independent mobile analytics firm Opensignal.
The report, which covers the period Jan. 1 to Mar. 31, 2021, showed Smart beating the competition across all metrics in three essential aspects of service: Coverage (4G Coverage Experience, 4G Availability), Speed (Download and Upload Speed) and Experience (Games, Video and Voice app).
This is the first time an operator in the Philippines won decisively in all categories.
“This breakthrough validates our unrelenting work towards delivering the best experience to our customers across the country, and gave us renewed energy to stay the course,” said Smart Communications President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio.
"We are no longer benchmarking ourselves with local competition but with other telcos in the region. By doing this, we are not just improving Smart but also the internet speed of the Philippines," he added.
Across regions, Smart also clinched a commanding lead in all categories, particularly in terms of Games Experience, where it dominated over its competitor in every region.
"Smart has achieved a rare and remarkable achievement — it wins all seven of our awards for the national mobile experience. In previous reports it has come close to this mark, but this is the first time that it has done so," wrote Sam Fenwick, Opensignal senior analyst.
"In addition to successfully defending the five awards it won in our last report, Smart converted a joint win on Games Experience into an outright win and successfully reclaimed the Voice App Experience award, which Globe won last time around," Fenwick added.
Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart, said that despite these awards, work does not stop here for the company. "We will not rest on our laurels. We will continue putting in the hard work that has made Smart the nation's fastest network with the nationwidest 4G coverage. Despite sweeping the awards, Smart aims to be even faster by continuing to expand our 5G network, which now has over 2,500 sites," said Tamayo.
Still the leader in Video Experience
Smart has also sustained its lead in Video Experience. "Smart’s score of 60.9 points out of 100 for Video Experience was higher than Globe’s score of 53.1. As a result, Smart’s winning streak since we introduced this award to the Philippines in March 2019 remains unbroken," Opensignal said.
Smart also remains ahead in 4G Availability, which is defined as the proportion of time 4G users spend connected to 4G or LTE, as well as in terms of 4G Coverage Experience, a measure of how mobile subscribers experience 4G coverage on an operator’s network.
Smart also won the Download Speed and Upload Speed Experience categories. "Our Filipino users have seen a significant improvement in their average download speeds, and our Smart users saw by far the largest increase — both in absolute and percentage terms," Opensignal said, noting that Smart’s Download Speed Experience score rose by 29.5% since their last report.
In terms of Voice App Experience, Opensignal said that Smart has taken back the Voice App Experience award, driven by an "impressive" 11.9-point (19.4%) increase in Smart's score to 73.4 points.
Supporting various passion points with Double GIGA
To enable subscribers to enjoy more of their favorite online activities, Smart recently launched Double GIGA, which offers twice the data for their passion apps.
For example, Double GIGA Video 99 now comes with 2 GB per day for streaming on YouTube, Cignal Play, iWantTFC, and NBA League Pass – plus 2 GB open access data for Php99 valid for 7 days.
Subscribers can also avail of Double GIGA Stories for more sharing on social media; Double GIGA Study and Double GIGA Work for more online productivity; and Double GIGA Games to enjoy more of today's top mobile games. Customers can register to Double GIGA via the GigaLife App or by dialing *123#.
Enabling this level of performance is PLDT's fiber infrastructure, the country's most extensive at 429,000 kilometers. This fiber network also supports Smart's mobile network, which covers 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.
These initiatives form a large part of PLDT's capital expenditures, which totaled P460.7 billion in the last ten years. To address the growing data needs of their fixed and wireless customers, PLDT and Smart are prepared to invest between P88 billion and P92 billion in capital expenditures in 2021.
Opensignal Awards – Philippines: Mobile Network Experience Report April 2021, based on independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during the period January 1 – March 31, 2021 © 2021 Opensignal Limited.