As the demand for data rises in the new normal, PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have once again emerged ahead of the competition as the fastest speed networks in the second half of 2020, according to Ookla.
PLDT emerged as the country’s fastest fixed internet network for the second half of 2020 as per Ookla’s Speedtest. Meanwhile, Smart is the fastest mobile internet network, according to the global internet testing and analysis leader.
Ookla reported that PLDT achieved a Speed Score of 27.28. It has top download speeds of 79.48 Mbps and top upload speeds of 92.18 Mbps. The fixed network award is based on 74,788,737 customer-initiated tests taken with Speedtest for Q3 to Q4 2020.
Smart, on the other hand, posted a Speed Score of 24.99. Smart’s average download speeds is at 20.08 Mbps and the average upload speeds is at 7.42 Mbps. This score is based on 3,915,679 user-initiated tests taken with Speedtest in the Philippines for the same period. The scores improved from the previous period when PLDT and Smart posted Speed Scores of 24.79 and 18.33, respectively.
Fastest network in key areas
Ookla’s country reports showed that Smart is way ahead in key areas like Quezon City, Cebu City, and Makati City. Additionally, PLDT is ahead in Quezon City, Cebu City, and Cagayan de Oro City. In Quezon City, Smart posted Download Speeds of 32.69 Mbps, double that of the competing network.
This reflects the continuous network upgrade and expansion activities that Smart undertook in the city. The upgrade includes the deployment of LTE-Advanced and carrier aggregation. For mobile, Speed Score incorporates a measure of each provider’s download and upload speed to rank network speed performance.
Speed Score is a measure that takes into account both upload and download speeds. Tests used to calculate Speed Score exclusively come from devices with ‘Modern Chipsets’, which are devices capable of connecting to the market’s fastest, generally available technology.
For fixed, Ookla assesses the fastest network speeds attained across a given network, accounting for tests that are taken on various Speedtest applications that connect to a fixed network, including tests taken on mobile phones over a Wi-Fi connection. Each top carrier accounts for at least 3% of the sample size in the geographic area.
Investment in network transformation
To sustain this level of performance, PLDT and Smart are continuously investing in the expansion of their fixed and wireless networks across the country.
PLDT recently announced that it was prepared to invest between Php 88 billion and Php 92 billion in capital expenditures this year.
Forming a large part of these expenditures are PLDT and Smart’s nationwide expansion of their fixed and wireless networks to elevate the country’s telecommunications industry and deliver world-class services.
As of December 2020, PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country, comprised of more than 429,000 kilometers. This fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s mobile networks, which now covers 96% of the population and is available in 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities.
Smart increased the number of its base stations to over 59,000 at the end of 2020 and as well as rolled out additional 5G sites as it accelerates its 5G commercial services nationwide.
The PLDT Group’s investments in capital expenditures totaled Php 260 billion from 2015 to 2019.