Philippines Mobile Internet Speed has Improved. Here's to Why?

Philippines Mobile Internet Speed has Improved. Here's to Why?

According to a global speed test, the internet speed of mobiles has improved, jumping 14 notches higher compared to its previous ranking.

In terms of mobile data speed, the Philippines ranks 96 out of the 139 countries.
Last December, it had an average of 22.50 megabits per second (Mbps) a tad bit higher to 18.49 Mbps in November, according to Ookla's Speedtest Global Index.

“With a total of 118 million tests conducted in all of the country’s regions, cities and municipalities throughout 2020, the monthly increase in the speed of 4Mbps for mobile from November to December was the highest monthly increase since July 2016,” in the report by Ookla.

The country's rank went up from 34th to 19th out of the 50 Asian countries and from 22 to 19th out of the 46 Asia Pacific countries.

The reason for this improvement was President Rodrigo Duterte's directive last July 2020. Ordering the LGU to speed up the permits regarding the building of cellular towers. This brought up a notable amount of granting permits from July to December 2020.

There had been a monthly average of 63 permits issued for Globe and a 50 for smart last 2019. On the other hand, in 2020, the monthly average number of permits issued from July to December was 348 or 552.65% for Globe. And 97 or 194.33% for Smart, according to the reports of the National Telecommunications Commission(NTC).

Because of the speed-up of the issuance of permits, they built more cellular towers. There is a total of 2,939 additional towers/ physical sites constructed from July to December. All in all, there are 22,834 cellular towers in the country. Where 10,395 belongs to Globe and 10,079 for Smart and DITO.

Last 2020, there has been a total of 144,551 cable-kilometers of fiber optics and 106,914 cable-kilometers rolled out by Smart/PLDT. While Globe with 13, 414. Converge had 10,167, and DITO with 14,056 cable-kilometers more.

“Telcos also continue to invest heavily on their fiber-optic network with a total of 543,740 cable-kilometers already laid out all over the country to date. Smart/PLDT currently has the widest network with 429,270 cable-kilometers of fiber optic built. Globe has laid out 67,414 cable-kilometers, Converge with 33,000 and DITO with 14,056,” said Ookla.

The increasing demand for mobile internet services caught the attention of the Common Tower Policy to generate a much faster rollout of telco infrastructure. To significantly increase the internet speeds, the construction of additional towers is needed to enable the country to be more competitive globally.

According to Globe, they have finalized partnering with 11 tower companies, while Smart said, they had dealt nine tower companies.

The launch of DITO in March 2021 will also enable the Globe and Smart to increase their capital expenditures. Globe set to spend P90 billion, and Smart P92 billion in 2021. These are their highest investment annually for the past six years.

To help improve the country's internet speed, the NTC instructed all the telecommunication companies to submit their plans ahead, for them to monitor the Telcos' progress.

They also agreed to assist the Telcos for a smooth implementation of their roll-out plans.

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