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PLDT-Smart claims test shows improved internet speeds

Telecommunications giant PLDT Inc. and its wireless unit Smart Communications said that third party tests have shown improvements in its internet speeds.

"Third party tests show our internet speeds and coverage are improving as we roll out more fiber to the home and LTE facilities," PLDT-Smart Public Affairs head Ramon Isberto told GMA News Online.

Isberto was sought for comment on the remarks made earlier by Chinese billionaire and Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma who said the internet service in the country was "not good."

Ma, however, clarified it was unfair to blame anybody particularly the telcos as he recalled how internet speed in China was terrible when Alibaba was a new company, saying it was much worse than in the Philippines today.

But the Chinese billionaire emphasized that it was not an excuse for the telcos.

"We've been working very hard and investing heavily to improve the quality and coverage of our internet services. Though we still have much to do, these efforts have started to pay off," Isberto said, referring to industry monitor OpenSignal's report on Philippine mobile networks.

According to OpenSignal's report released in September, Smart has a faster 4G LTE speed of 10.6 Megabits-per-second (Mbps), "increasing slightly over the last six months," than Globe's average of around 7 to 8 Mbps.

LTE or Long Term Evolution is a wireless technology that supports roaming internet access through cell phones and other handheld devices.

However, OpenSignal said that in general internet speeds in the Philippines remain slow below the global 4G LTE average speed of 16.2 Mbps and the global 3G average of 4.4 Mbps.

"We will continue this effort until we cover the whole country and enable Filipinos to easily access a wide range of inclusive digital services — including stuff like Pay Maya mobile payments services," Isberto said. — MDM, GMA News