Mobile Network Experience Report Philippines September 2019

Philippines

Mobile Network Experience Report
September 2019

Opensignal Active Userbase in Philippines
Total Devices
190,317
Total Measurements
533,353,572
Data Collection Period
May 01 Jul 29, 2019

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Author
Peter Boyland Senior Analyst

Key findings

Philippines operators improve but remain neck-and-neck in 4G Availability

We saw a tie for our 4G Availability award for the second report running, with very little light between Globe and Smart's scores. And these scores are improving, with our users on both operators' networks seeing their 4G Availability improve by at least 3 percentage points.

Smart keeps our Download Speed Experience award, but its 4G speed falls

Smart remains well ahead in our overall Download Speed Experience metric, although Globe saw a good increase to close the gap on the leader. However Smart saw a drop of nearly 1 megabit in its 4G Download Speed — something of a concern as 4G Availability is increasing.

Smart pulling ahead in Video Experience

Smart kept hold of our Video Experience award fairly comfortably, improving its score by over 3 points (out of 100) to move further ahead of Globe. Smart's score also gained it a Fair rating, meaning Video Experience is acceptable at lower resolutions, while Globe remains well into the Poor rankings, so its users will find streamed video virtually unwatchable.

Big improvements in Latency Experience as Globe closes the gap

Smart kept our Latency Experience award, with both operators showing impressive improvements in this metric. Smart's score improved by over 7 milliseconds, but Globe's bettered by over 10ms to put pressure on the leader, with less than 3ms now separating the two.

Introduction

In our latest look at the Philippines mobile network experience, it's pretty clear that Smart remains the operator to beat. The PLDT-owned operator won four of our national awards outright and drew for 4G Availability — the same awards table as we saw in our last report. But this does not mean Globe has been dormant: We've seen some impressive improvements in its Download Speed and Latency Experience scores to put the pressure on the leader, while Globe won quite a few awards in the Philippines' provinces.

And we've seen a few milestones beaten in this report. Globe has become the first Filipino operator to pass 75% Availability at a national level, with Smart coming tantalizingly close. Meanwhile in Metro Manila, both operators topped 86% 4G Availability — a pretty impressive score, even by the standards of much more developed mobile cities. And it was also in the Metro Manila province where Smart's Latency Experience score passed the 50 milliseconds mark.

Even with just two operators, mobile network experience is continuing to improve in the Philippines, even if some people may think Smart could have benefitted from a lack of competition for our awards. But competition is set to increase, as the existing Philippines’ operators are set to be joined by a third national player — Mislatel's DITO — expected to launch sometime in 2020, while the regulator seems keen to encourage further competition in the market. Neither Globe or Smart have been complacent in recent years, and we're still seeing some decent growth from both operators in many of our metrics.

In this report, we've analyzed the mobile network experience of the Philippines' two national operators in the 90 days from the start of May 2019, both at a national level and across 19 provinces, to see how Globe and Smart measure up.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Philippines
September 2019, Philippines Report
4G Availability
Video Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
Download Image
Mobile Experience Awards Winners
September 2019, Philippines
Video Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
September 2019, Philippines
4G Availability
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
4G Availability
% of time
Globe
75.3
Smart
74.3
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

National Analysis

4G Availability

Smart is clearly the operator to beat in the Philippines. But it's not dominant in all metrics, as the ongoing battle for our 4G Availability award shows. We've seen a tie in this metric for the second report running, after Smart put in a sprint to catch Globe in our last report. The two operators remain neck-and-neck, with both seeing their scores improve by at least 3 percentage points in the past six months.

4G Availability
% of time
Globe
75.3
Smart
74.3
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

Globe has now passed the 75% mark in 4G Availability, while Smart is inches short of this milestone. This growth is very welcome, as our users in the Philippines saw a national overall score of 72.4% in our recent global State of Mobile Network Experience report — putting the country in the bottom third of our table, and well behind its Southeast Asian neighbors. The competition in this metric is heating up nicely as both Globe and Smart appear to be focusing their efforts on improving their 4G Availability, to the benefit of the whole Filipino mobile network experience.

Video Experience

Smart has comfortably held onto our Video Experience award, but both operators have seen a fair improvement in their scores. Our users on Globe's network saw their Video Experience improve by 2 points (on our scale of 0-100), but Smart's score increased by over 3 points, moving it a little further ahead of its rival.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Globe
30.4
Smart
47.6
Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Video Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
35.6 (± 0.50) 57.7 (± 0.53)
3G Video Experience
19.9 (± 0.79) 28.3 (± 1.30)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | September 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
36 (± 0.50)
58 (± 0.53)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
20 (± 0.79)
28 (± 1.30)
Mobile Network Experience Report | September 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Smart's Video Experience score of 47.6 out of 100 places it comfortably in our Fair ranking bracket (40-55), which means its users may be able to watch videos with reasonable load times and minimal stalling at low resolutions, but at higher resolutions they will be difficult to watch. Globe's score of 30.4, however, is well into Poor ranking (0-40) territory, meaning its users will struggle to get anything close to an acceptable Video Experience, even at the lowest resolutions.

The contrast in Video Experience is even starker when we look at our 4G-only Video Experience scores. Smart's 4G score of 57.7 was over 10 points ahead of its overall Video Experience tally, tipping the operator over into a Good rating (55-65), meaning faster loading and less stuttering, even at higher resolutions. Globe's 4G Video Experience score was only 5 points ahead of its overall score, and still well within our Poor rating. And these differences were also starkly apparent in our recent deep dive into the Video Experience in the Philippines. The operators should be applauded for increasing their 4G Availability, but our users on Globe's network in particular will not enjoy the full benefits of a 4G connection if it's impossible to stream even the lowest resolution video.

Download Speed Experience

Download speeds are improving in Philippines, but Smart's 4G score falls

Smart has kept hold of our Download Speed Experience award — but its rival is doing great work on closing the gap. Our users on Smart's network saw their speeds increase by 0.4 Mbps to reach 9.4 Mbps, but Globe's score jumped by a whole megabit to reach 6.5 Mbps. The overall picture shows that download speeds are improving in the Philippines — but there is one concerning result for Smart.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Globe
6.5
Smart
9.4
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
8.3 (± 0.10) 12.7 (± 0.18)
3G Download Speed
2.9 (± 0.05) 3.1 (± 0.07)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | September 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
8 (± 0.10)
13 (± 0.18)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
3 (± 0.05)
3 (± 0.07)
Mobile Network Experience Report | September 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

In our download supporting metrics, both operators saw a fair gain of around half a megabit in their 3G Download Speed scores. But while Globe's 4G Download Speed score rose by about the same amount, our users on Smart's network actually saw their 4G speed drop. The fall in Smart's speed was less than a megabit, dropping to 12.7 Mbps from 13.6 Mbps six months ago, but it's still something of a concern to see this score going in the wrong direction, especially as Smart's 4G Availability is growing. Smart is still well ahead in our overall download metrics because of the influence of rising 4G Availability, but needs to address this decline if it wants to stay there.

Upload Speed Experience

Smart won our Upload Speed Experience award with a score of 3.3 Mbps — nearly double that of Globe. And this trend continued in both our supporting metrics, with Smart's 4G Upload Speed score of 4.6 Mbps being exactly double that of its rival, while its 3G Download Speed was more than twice that of Globe's.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Globe
1.7
Smart
3.3
0 1.25 2.5 3.75 5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
2.3 (± 0.03) 4.6 (± 0.07)
3G Upload Speed
0.3 (± 0.01) 0.7 (± 0.02)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | September 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
2 (± 0.03)
5 (± 0.07)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
0 (± 0.01)
1 (± 0.02)
Mobile Network Experience Report | September 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Despite winning by such a clear margin, even Smart's upload scores are well short of the over-10 Mbps speeds we are now regularly seeing in mature markets. The Philippines operators are clearly making some good progress in other areas, but as consumer habits change from passive website viewing to more sharing of photos and videos, they cannot afford to ignore their users' upstream speeds.

Latency Experience

Smart has won our Latency Experience award, but the gap between the Philippines' two operators is much narrower than in our speed metrics. Globe is now within 3 milliseconds of the leader, after improving its score by over 10ms since our last report. But Smart hasn't been slacking, as its own Latency Experience has improved by 7ms in the past six months.

Latency Experience
in ms The lower the figure the better the latency
Globe
64.2
Smart
61.9
0 16.25 32.5 48.75 65
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Latency Experience
Supporting Metrics
in ms
4G Latency
51.1 (± 0.32) 50.6 (± 0.43)
3G Latency
90.8 (± 1.32) 83.5 (± 1.24)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | September 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Latency in ms
51 (± 0.32)
51 (± 0.43)
3G Latency in ms
91 (± 1.32)
84 (± 1.24)
Mobile Network Experience Report | September 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

The tight contest was even more apparent in our 4G Latency scores, where Globe improved by over 7ms to force a statistical tie with Smart, with both operators scoring just over the 50ms mark. Latency is becoming increasingly important to many aspects of the mobile user experience, from instant messaging and calls to video streaming and online gaming. As the Filipino operators improve their users' latency, we should see the effects filtering into our video and voice metrics in our next report.

Regional Analysis

The close-run race in national 4G Availability was mirrored in the Philippines provinces. Of the 19 regions we analyzed, we saw Globe win in seven, while Smart won six and a further six were tied. And we saw some impressive scores in some of the more urban provinces — both operators scored over 80% 4G Availability in Bulacan and Cebu, while in Metro Manila they both topped 86%.

In our Video Experience metric, Smart was also dominant, winning in every province except for one draw in Benguet. But our regional Latency Experience awards were much more evenly scattered. We saw no fewer than 12 draws in this metric, with Globe winning in five provinces and Smart topping just two.

Smart was much more dominant in our regional speed metrics — but not everything went the way of the national winner in Download Speed Experience. The operator won in 12 provinces, but was held to a draw in five while Globe managed two rare wins in Benguet and Laguna. Smart excelled in Upload Speed Experience though, sweeping the board in every province except Aklan, where it was forced to a tie with Globe.

There were some pretty wide variations in Download Speed Experience, ranging from Smart's score of over 15 Mbps in Metro Manila to its average speed of less than 3 Mbps in Benguet. These wide regional differences were borne out in our recent analysis of speeds in the Philippines largest cities. And even within the fastest provinces, we found download speeds could be twice as fast in some cities at the most congested times of the day.

Select any region below to display individual breakdown

Aklan

4G Availability
in Aklan
in %
Globe
75.3
Smart
77.7
Download Image
Video Experience
in Aklan
in 0-100 points
Globe
27.5
Smart
40.3
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Aklan
in Mbps
Globe
6.5
Smart
7.3
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Aklan
in Mbps
Globe
2.0
Smart
2.3
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Aklan
in ms
Globe
69.7
Smart
74.2
Download Image

Batangas

4G Availability
in Batangas
in %
Globe
60.6
Smart
51.1
Download Image
Video Experience
in Batangas
in 0-100 points
Globe
31.0
Smart
38.0
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Batangas
in Mbps
Globe
6.2
Smart
7.5
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Batangas
in Mbps
Globe
1.4
Smart
2.5
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Batangas
in ms
Globe
61.8
Smart
64.7
Download Image

Benguet

4G Availability
in Benguet
in %
Globe
70.0
Smart
69.3
Download Image
Video Experience
in Benguet
in 0-100 points
Globe
30.5
Smart
29.8
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Benguet
in Mbps
Globe
5.9
Smart
3.0
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Benguet
in Mbps
Globe
1.2
Smart
1.9
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Benguet
in ms
Globe
67.1
Smart
82.9
Download Image

Bulacan

4G Availability
in Bulacan
in %
Globe
81.1
Smart
80.8
Download Image
Video Experience
in Bulacan
in 0-100 points
Globe
29.1
Smart
50.8
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Bulacan
in Mbps
Globe
6.1
Smart
10.6
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Bulacan
in Mbps
Globe
1.6
Smart
4.0
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Bulacan
in ms
Globe
56.7
Smart
70.0
Download Image

Cavite

4G Availability
in Cavite
in %
Globe
77.3
Smart
66.1
Download Image
Video Experience
in Cavite
in 0-100 points
Globe
29.3
Smart
41.7
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Cavite
in Mbps
Globe
6.6
Smart
7.1
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Cavite
in Mbps
Globe
1.6
Smart
2.7
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Cavite
in ms
Globe
59.6
Smart
62.5
Download Image

Cebu

4G Availability
in Cebu
in %
Globe
80.7
Smart
85.4
Download Image
Video Experience
in Cebu
in 0-100 points
Globe
29.3
Smart
43.6
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Cebu
in Mbps
Globe
5.8
Smart
6.9
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Cebu
in Mbps
Globe
1.9
Smart
3.0
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Cebu
in ms
Globe
64.7
Smart
71.7
Download Image

Davao del Sur

4G Availability
in Davao del Sur
in %
Globe
78.2
Smart
84.0
Download Image
Video Experience
in Davao del Sur
in 0-100 points
Globe
32.1
Smart
44.4
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Davao del Sur
in Mbps
Globe
6.4
Smart
6.9
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Davao del Sur
in Mbps
Globe
1.8
Smart
3.0
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Davao del Sur
in ms
Globe
76.1
Smart
75.1
Download Image

Iloilo

4G Availability
in Iloilo
in %
Globe
66.3
Smart
75.1
Download Image
Video Experience
in Iloilo
in 0-100 points
Globe
25.6
Smart
44.6
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Iloilo
in Mbps
Globe
4.2
Smart
6.4
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Iloilo
in Mbps
Globe
1.5
Smart
2.6
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Iloilo
in ms
Globe
76.3
Smart
88.7
Download Image

Laguna

4G Availability
in Laguna
in %
Globe
73.7
Smart
66.9
Download Image
Video Experience
in Laguna
in 0-100 points
Globe
26.6
Smart
36.8
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Laguna
in Mbps
Globe
6.7
Smart
5.8
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Laguna
in Mbps
Globe
1.4
Smart
2.5
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Laguna
in ms
Globe
58.8
Smart
61.4
Download Image

Metro Manila

4G Availability
in Metro Manila
in %
Globe
86.2
Smart
86.1
Download Image
Video Experience
in Metro Manila
in 0-100 points
Globe
37.1
Smart
58.5
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Metro Manila
in Mbps
Globe
8.8
Smart
15.2
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Metro Manila
in Mbps
Globe
2.2
Smart
4.7
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Metro Manila
in ms
Globe
50.3
Smart
40.9
Download Image

Misamis Oriental

4G Availability
in Misamis Oriental
in %
Globe
79.8
Smart
67.6
Download Image
Video Experience
in Misamis Oriental
in 0-100 points
Globe
28.8
Smart
49.1
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Misamis Oriental
in Mbps
Globe
5.3
Smart
8.1
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Misamis Oriental
in Mbps
Globe
1.7
Smart
3.5
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Misamis Oriental
in ms
Globe
77.4
Smart
79.0
Download Image

Negros Occidental

4G Availability
in Negros Occidental
in %
Globe
63.1
Smart
74.0
Download Image
Video Experience
in Negros Occidental
in 0-100 points
Globe
25.0
Smart
40.3
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Negros Occidental
in Mbps
Globe
4.9
Smart
6.0
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Negros Occidental
in Mbps
Globe
1.3
Smart
2.1
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Negros Occidental
in ms
Globe
78.2
Smart
81.6
Download Image

Nueva Ecija

4G Availability
in Nueva Ecija
in %
Globe
69.0
Smart
64.5
Download Image
Video Experience
in Nueva Ecija
in 0-100 points
Globe
22.2
Smart
51.6
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Nueva Ecija
in Mbps
Globe
5.1
Smart
7.9
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Nueva Ecija
in Mbps
Globe
1.0
Smart
3.0
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Nueva Ecija
in ms
Globe
72.3
Smart
67.9
Download Image

Pampanga

4G Availability
in Pampanga
in %
Globe
75.5
Smart
71.1
Download Image
Video Experience
in Pampanga
in 0-100 points
Globe
27.2
Smart
42.2
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Pampanga
in Mbps
Globe
6.6
Smart
8.0
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Pampanga
in Mbps
Globe
1.5
Smart
3.4
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Pampanga
in ms
Globe
62.3
Smart
67.5
Download Image

Pangasinan

4G Availability
in Pangasinan
in %
Globe
69.9
Smart
58.9
Download Image
Video Experience
in Pangasinan
in 0-100 points
Globe
29.0
Smart
40.4
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Pangasinan
in Mbps
Globe
6.9
Smart
8.4
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Pangasinan
in Mbps
Globe
1.3
Smart
3.2
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Pangasinan
in ms
Globe
60.1
Smart
67.4
Download Image

Quezon

4G Availability
in Quezon
in %
Globe
55.0
Smart
64.1
Download Image
Video Experience
in Quezon
in 0-100 points
Globe
25.4
Smart
47.9
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Quezon
in Mbps
Globe
5.5
Smart
9.2
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Quezon
in Mbps
Globe
1.2
Smart
3.2
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Quezon
in ms
Globe
62.9
Smart
55.3
Download Image

Rizal

4G Availability
in Rizal
in %
Globe
78.7
Smart
83.4
Download Image
Video Experience
in Rizal
in 0-100 points
Globe
32.6
Smart
47.3
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Rizal
in Mbps
Globe
7.4
Smart
7.5
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Rizal
in Mbps
Globe
1.7
Smart
2.8
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Rizal
in ms
Globe
54.0
Smart
50.8
Download Image

South Cotabato

4G Availability
in South Cotabato
in %
Globe
65.4
Smart
61.7
Download Image
Video Experience
in South Cotabato
in 0-100 points
Globe
24.1
Smart
46.0
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in South Cotabato
in Mbps
Globe
4.5
Smart
6.8
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in South Cotabato
in Mbps
Globe
1.2
Smart
2.2
Download Image
Latency Experience
in South Cotabato
in ms
Globe
78.5
Smart
83.9
Download Image

Tarlac

4G Availability
in Tarlac
in %
Globe
71.8
Smart
62.5
Download Image
Video Experience
in Tarlac
in 0-100 points
Globe
23.8
Smart
40.0
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Tarlac
in Mbps
Globe
5.8
Smart
8.2
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Tarlac
in Mbps
Globe
1.1
Smart
3.3
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Tarlac
in ms
Globe
64.8
Smart
73.8
Download Image
Learn more

Opensignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks in the places they live, work and travel.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the true experience of smartphone users. Therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only.

For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars. In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

More about Methodology

Subscribe to our newsletter and get our latest reports and analyses delivered right to your inbox every 2 weeks. We will not share your email address with third parties.

Journalists, please retain the Opensignal logo and copyright
(© Opensignal Limited) information when using this image.

This image may not be used for any commercial purpose, including use in advertisements or other promotional content, without prior written consent.

For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars.

In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

Why confidence intervals are vital in analyzing mobile network experience

Subscribe to our Newsletter

and receive Opensignal reports in your email

About our Newsletter