By Emmie V. Abadilla
The country’s Internet speed has significantly improved, according to the latest OOKLA’s Speedtest Global Index.
The Philippines’ average download speed for fixed broadband improved 143.74% from 7.91Mbps in July 2016 to 19.28 Mbps in February 2019.
On the other hand, the country’s average download mobile broadband speed also improved by 94.35% from 7.44Mbps in July 2016 to 14.46Mbps in February 2019.
Overall, the Philippines’ Internet speed placed twenty-ninth for fixed broadband and 33rd for mobile out of fifty Asian countries.
Out of forty-six Asia Pacific countries, the average download speed of the Philippines ranked twenty-first for fixed broadband and twenty-third for mobile.
Among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the average download speed for fixed broadband of the Philippines registered faster than that of Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar’s. For mobile speed, the Philippines came out faster than Cambodia and Indonesia.
As the country prepares for the eventual entry of MISLATEL, the provisional new major telco player, Internet speed and pricing are expected to improve further.
At present, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is awaiting he House of Representatives confirmation of the Senate version of the approval of the sale/transfer of MISLATEL’s controlling interest in favor of Udenna, Chelsea and Chinatel.
To ensure global competitiveness, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has also linked up with tower firms and is looking to partner with telcos to fast track the rollout of the government’s common tower initiative.
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the DICT is proposing to sign with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and with each telco company, the DICT and NTC are set identify sites where common towers are recommended to be built.
The plan is to build 50,000 common towers in the next seven (7) years with a target of 3,000 sites on Year 1 and gradually increasing it to 10,000 sites from Year 5 to Year 7.
Digital 2019 reported that the Philippines led the world on average time spent daily using Internet via any device at 10 hours and 2 minutes.