Philippines’ 5G download speed nearly 10x faster than 4G — report

This photo shows 3D printed objects representing 5G on a motherboard, April 24, 2020. — REUTERS/Dado Ruvic /Illustration/File Photo

THE Philippines has shown the biggest improvement in download speeds globally, with average fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology download speeds nearly 10 times faster than the older 4G technology, according to the latest report by independent mobile analytics company Opensignal.

“The Philippines has the greatest uplift in download speeds, with average 5G download speeds 9.8 times faster than 4G,” Opensignal analyst Ian Fogg said in the “Benchmarking the Global 5G Experience — November 2021” report.

The Philippines had an average 5G download speed of 140.6 megabits per second (Mbps) during the data collection period from Aug. 1 to Oct. 29.

The Philippines also topped the uplift chart for mobile video streaming “with a 5G video experience score that is 34% higher than using 4G,” Mr. Fogg said.

“The new 5G network generation offers a very significantly faster average 5G download speed in every market Opensignal has analyzed to date,” he said.

The country’s major mobile operators, Globe Telecom, Inc. and PLDT’s Smart Communications, Inc., are using 4G and 5G wireless technologies that provide higher bandwidth and faster download and upload experiences.

Taiwan and Israel trailed the Philippines in Opensignal’s 5G Global Top 15 list for the most improvement from 4G to 5G download speeds. Taiwan and Israel’s 5G experience was 8.9 times faster than their 4G experience, although Taiwan’s download speed was 320 Mbps and Israel’s stood at 189 Mbps.

In its previous global 5G analysis released in September, Opensignal found Taiwan’s 5G download speeds to be the most improved from 4G with a rate of 11.7 at 370.6 Mbps, followed by the Philippines’ 145.5 Mbps, which was 10.1 times faster than its 4G.

The Philippines also ranked among the world’s top 15 for 5G Reach, which “measures the extent of the mobile experience in all the locations that matter most to everyday users.” The Philippines ranked 15th with a score of 3.5. Hong Kong topped the list with a score of 6.5, followed by South Korea with 6.4.

“In most global markets, we are still in the 5G rollout phase. However, 5G is becoming increasingly common,” Mr. Fogg said.

Smart said that it has deployed over 4,400 5G sites in more than 4,000 locations in the country as of October.

For its part, Globe said its 5G service is available in over 1,900 locations in the country as of end-September.

According to Smart, it has 800,000 5G users as of October, a 200% increase from December 2020.

Meanwhile, Globe said it has more than 770,000 5G devices connected to its network as of June 2021.

“In 2022, Opensignal expects 5G to become an even more important part of life,” Opensignal’s Mr. Fogg said.

“Whatever happens, 5G already underpins mobile services for many and helps to speed connectivity and sidestep congestion. And, in future, 5G will be the foundation of everyone’s mobile experience,” he added.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin