OpenSignal just released a report comparing the performance of the 3G and 4G networks of both Smart and Globe and the results are very interesting.
In terms of 4G (LTE) availability, Globe was ahead of Smart at 55.25% vs. 39.36%. LTE availability is the proportion of time that a user has a 4G signal over the total time it is connected to the carrier’s network.
When measuring 4G/LTE speeds, Globe came in with an average of 7.42Mbps while Smart went ahead at 9.87Mbps. This is slightly better compared to the over-all average of 7.27Mbps the Philippines got back in Q3 2016.
Measuring 3G speeds only, Globe and Smart almost tied at 2.24Mbps and 2.12Mbps, respectively. The discrepancy between the 4G and 3G speeds of the two networks is very significant, highlighting the importance of LTE frequencies to bring fast connectivity to users.
When over-all speeds are averaged between 3G and 4G, Globe and Smart are also tied – 3.33Mbps and 3.41Mbps. This measurement not only takes into consideration the 3G and 4G speeds on the network but also the time spent in those networks. This is the reason why Smart’s average dropped to 3.41Mbps despite getting a good 9.87Mbps speed on their 4G network – users spend more time on Smart’s 3G network than on their 4G network, skewing the over-all average towards the 3G speeds.
Lastly, OpenSignal also measure the latency of each network to see how responsive each carrier in both their 3G and 4G networks.
Latency, measured in milliseconds (ms), is the delay data experiences as it travels between points in the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.
For the 4G (LTE) network, Globe and Smart are statistically tied at 55.64ms and 53.32ms, respectively. These are pretty good numbers for a mobile network.
However, for their 3G network, Smart got a better latency performance of 157.2ms compared to the 190.4ms of Globe.
These results are definitely interesting and should give subscribers a better idea on the expected performance of their own respective carriers.
The average speeds, especially on 3G, are still very disappointing. There is good promise in the 4G networks, if you’re area has good coverage but based on the results of the survey there’s still a lot to cover.
Both Globe and Smart (PLDT) have announced aggressive expansion plans for LTE coverage in the Philippines, building more cell sites across the country and tapping into more frequency bands like the 700MHz they recently acquired from SMC.
* OpenSignal drew on 512 million measurements taken by 28,972 smartphone users between Nov. 1, 2016, and Jan. 31, 2017, to compare the 3G and 4G experience of our users on the Globe and Smart networks.