Video experience in PH improves in the last 2 years, according to Opensignal

Video Experience in the Philippines has improved in the last two years as the country’s two telecom companies invested more on their networks, according to independent analytics firms OpenSignal.

Video Experience measures the average video experience of Opensignal users on 3G and 4G networks. It involves measuring real-world video streams, and takes picture quality, video loading time and stall rate into account. 

Opensigna found out that compared to the third quarter of 2018, users’ Video Experience in the Philippines has increased by 29.5 percent, from 35.8 points to 46.4 points in the first quarter of 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Meanwhile, Latency Experience in the Philippines also improved from 75.4ms in the third quarter of 2018 to 60.6ms in May 2020 during the pandemic. Latency experience represents the typical delay a user experiences when connecting across an operator’s networks in milliseconds (ms), hence the lower the score, the better. 

At the operator level, PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has consistently led in Video Experience in the country since the third quarter of 2018, staying clearly ahead despite the improvements also recorded by its competitor.

Smart’s Video Experience Score also improved by 26.3 percent from 42.4 points in the this quarter of  2018 to 53.5 points in the first quarter of 2020.

Between third quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2020, Globe’s Video Experience score rose from 29.2 points to 40.9, an increase of 11.7 points (40.1 percent). 

Smart’s Latency Experience also continued to improve amid the pandemic, as the competitor’s Latency Experience declined. 

Globe users saw their average latency improve by 15.8 ms (20.6 percent) between third quarter of 2018 and the last quarter that included pre-COVID-19 data. 

“As a consequence, Smart users observed a large improvement (in both absolute and percentage terms) than their Globe counterparts,” Opensignal noted.  

Mario G. Tamayo, senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering for PLDT-Smart, underscored the company’s sustained network investments as key to these network improvements, which the companies have been able rollout despite challenges posed by lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19. 

“We continue to monitor our progress through the lens of third-party independent companies like Opensignal, which have acknowledged the consistent performance of PLDT and Smart’s networks for the past several quarters. However, our work does not stop there, and we recognize that there are still opportunities for improvement, as we aim to bring the Philippines to the level of the best in the region,” Tamayo said.

According to Opensignal, average user experience while streaming video has been “Fair” (40-55) since the third quarter of 2019—up from the “Poor” rating observed in the previous four quarters, adding that Video Experience has remained ‘fair’ despite the impact of the pandemic.

“This indicates that operators’ efforts to ensure their networks would still support video streaming services despite the changes in usage patterns brought were successful,” Opensignal said.

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