"We’re still far below global averages."
It is rather distressing, while the country suffers from the loathsome pandemic when distance learning and other online activities are up, that internet connectivity, despite perceived improvement in the Philippines, still falls below the global average.
This, in terms of mobile and fixed-line broadband speeds, which are necessary in meeting appointments and deadlines to raise expectations in business and the domestic economy.
Industry tracker Ookla has been blunt, based on its Speedtest Global Index, in saying the Philippines ranks 107th out of 176 countries in terms of fixed broadband, and 111th out of 136 countries in mobile internet.
The company based its ranking on the results of its Speedtest utility that measures download speeds, upload speeds and latency.
We have no reason to doubt Ookla’s statement the global average for fixed broadband is 87.84 megabits per second (Mbps) for download, 47.16 Mbps for uploads, and latency of 21 milliseconds (ms). Latency is the time it takes for data to be transferred between its original source and its destination, with lower latency preferred.
Let’s see. The Philippines’ average speed for fixed lines is 27.07 Mbps for downloads, 27 Mbps for uploads, with a latency of 27 ms. Singapore leads globally in the quality of fixed broadband. Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos all have faster internet speeds than the Philippines for fixed broadband.
The Philippines’ average mobile internet download speed of 12.09 Megabits per second (Mbps) is significantly far below the global mobile internet download speed of 30.89 Mbps.
Telecommunications companies PLDT-Smart, Globe, DITO Telecommunity, Converge ICT and NOW Group earlier announced their respective plans to roll out faster 5G networks.
In 2021, new telco entrants such as DITO Telecommunity, Converge ICT and RED Broadband will be launched – with many high in hopes the concerns on slow internet connectivity will be addressed to the satisfaction of users.
Many observers have said the main reason why this country is still branded with its slow internet speed is due to the fact that the country severely lacks cell sites.
Compared to 70,000 cell sites of Vietnam or over a million cell sites of China, the Philippines has the lowest cell site density in Asia, with one study suggesting the Philippines only has a measly 16,400 active cell sites that serve up to an estimated 67 million internet users in a country with a population of 110 million.
And then the country’s average fixed broadband internet download speed of 21.00 Mbps also falls below the global fixed broadband internet download speed of 39.62 Mbps, suggesting that the country is still far from a reliable and efficient internet connection.
We need to be up to speed sooner than later. Our navigation of the new normal relies on it.