Smart is umlaut’s Best in Test, widens lead in broadband coverage, download speed and latency

Leading mobile services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has solidified its lead in providing the best mobile internet service in the country after copping the top award from international internet testing organization umlaut.

The global benchmarking company formerly known as P3 gave Smart the ‘Best in Test’ award, as well as recognized PLDT’s wireless unit for delivering the best-rated broadband coverage, user download experience and latency experience, despite challenges of the pandemic and more stringent benchmarking guidelines.

“We strive to be better every day as we serve our customers and the nation at large.  This award is another testament to the hard work that our Network teams put in to ensure that we deliver the best experience to our customers, despite restrictions brought about by the pandemic,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart Communications President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer.

Germany-based umlaut said Smart posted an overall score of 747 out of a maximum of 1,000 points in umlaut’s benchmarking survey. This score includes Smart’s performance in terms of broadband coverage, download speed, and latency, which refers to the time it takes for data to make a round trip through the network.

For their extensive analysis, umlaut tested and measured 403 million samples from 779,000 users over 6 months leading up to April 2021.

“Congratulations to Smart for delivering the best mobile user experience in the Philippines. Smart is the best tested operator in all tested categories, a remarkable feat in these challenging COVID times. Our umlaut Mobile Benchmark is the de-facto industry standard, fairly and transparently assessing the global digital infrastructure,” says Hakan Ekmen, CEO of umlaut.

“We are heartened by these awards, but we will not rest on our laurels,” said Mario G. Tamayo, SVP and Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart, adding that Smart first adopted umlaut’s benchmarking standards in 2017 and has used them to stay focused on continuously improving the network.  As of end-March 2021, Smart had increased the number of its base stations to over 63,600, an increase of 7%, compared to the end of 2020. Smart has also expanded its nationwide 5G network to more than 2,600 sites. Smart’s mobile network covers 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, and is supported by PLDT’s most extensive fiber network, which is now at over 478,000 kilometers as of the end of Q1 2021. 

“We use these awards as guide for us to monitor our performance. The key here is consistency and making sure that we stay on top,” Tamayo said.

According to umlaut’s mobile wireless benchmark trend, Smart has consistently led by a large margin over its competitor, even as umlaut’s standards became tougher each year. Customer experience is a key measure in the testing.

‘Consistent performance’

This is the third year in a row that Smart received this accolade from umlaut. In 2019 and 2020, Smart was also given the “Best in Test award” and was cited for having the best and widest 4G/LTE coverage, and fastest upload and download speeds. 

The Germany-based company also cited Smart for consistently showing higher throughput rates than its competitor, and for providing the best network performance during the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games in December 2019.

umlaut covers more than 200 mobile networks in more than 120 countries worldwide.