PHL near bottom in 4G availability, speed

November 2, 2017 at 18:00

PHL near bottom in 4G availability, speed

PHILIPPINES ranked 69th out of 77 countries in terms of LTE availability, and 74th out of 77 in terms of LTE speeds, in a study conducted between July and October. – BW FILE PHOTO

THE PHILIPPINES has among the lowest long-term evolution (LTE) speed and availability rates globally, a report by a London-based firm said.

In a report released by wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal, the Philippines ranked 69th out of 77 countries in terms of LTE availability, and 74th out of 77 in terms of LTE speeds, in a study conducted between July and October. The report is based on 50 billion measurements and more than three billion test devices.

OpenSignal defines 4G availability as the “proportion of times” a user can access a network. The Philippines had a 4G availability rate of 58.83% during the test period, meaning that users were able to latch onto an LTE signal in almost six out of 10 attempts. The countries leading in availability are South Korea at 96.69% and Japan at 94.11%.

Other countries at the top of the availability table are Norway (88.66%), Hong Kong (87.23%), and the US (86.94%), while at the bottom were Algeria (41.5%), Sri Lanka (42.79%), and Ecuador (46.07%).

During the test period, 50 countries of the 77 examined by OpenSignal had 4G availability scores above 70%, compared to only 33 countries just six months ago.

For 4G speed, defined as the average download connection speed that a user experiences when connecting to LTE networks, the Philippines had an average speed of 8.24 megabits per second (Mbps). The average global 4G speed was at 16.6 Mbps, increasing from the 16.2 Mbps in the last six months, said OpenSignal.

Fastest 4G connections were recorded by South Korea at 45.85 Mbps, Singapore at 46.64 Mbps, Norway at 42.03 Mbps, Hungary at 42 Mbps, and the Netherlands at 38.91 Mbps. OpenSignal said that no country has consistently provided 50 Mbps, despite individual operators breaking the barrier.

At the bottom of the speed table were India (6.13 Mbps), Costa Rica (6.98 Mbps), and Saudi Arabia (7.33 Mbps).

“No new country has joined the 40-Mbps club since our last report, and the number of countries that averaged speeds greater than 20 Mbps has fallen, rather than increased,” OpenSignal said.

OpenSignal said that a country’s 4G speed depends on many factors, like amount of spectrum devoted to LTE, adoption of new 4G technologies like LTE Advanced, density of networks, and level of congestion in the networks, but presence of new technologies and number of devices capable of handling the technologies were seen driving fast LTE speeds.

“In general, though, the countries with the fastest speeds tend to be the ones that have built LTE-Advanced networks and have a large proportion of LTE-Advanced capable devices,” OpenSignal said in its report.

For overall experience, countries with high scores in both availability and speed were South Korea, Singapore, Norway, and Hungary. – Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo


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