Smart bags third ‘Best in Test’ award from global benchmark firm umlaut

PLDT’s wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart)’s best rated mobile network has been recognized by umlaut, a global benchmarking company.

Third time to receive the top award from umlaut

For the third time in the last 3 years that the award has been given, Smart has clinched the top award from the infrastructure and benchmarking specialist umlaut, part of Accenture.

In awarding the ‘Best in Test’ accolade, umlaut also cited Smart for having the best rated upload speeds, download speeds, and latency experience–a testament to Smart’s long-standing initiatives to continuously strengthen their network and provide enhanced mobile services.

Germany-based umlaut said Smart posted an overall score of 801 out of a maximum of 1,000 points. The report, which included 985 million samples collected from May to October 2022, also showed Smart ahead in terms of mobile wireless voice, internet browsing, mobile video and gaming and OTT messaging performances.  

Smart’s score achievements includes voice metrics, which include call set-up times and voice call quality; data, which cover uploads and download speeds, web browsing and consistently good and reliable throughput across the country; and crowdsourced elements to check for quality of coverage and reliability of sessions.  

Hakan Ekmen, CEO Telecommunication of umlaut, part of Accenture, and umlaut representatives recently met with PLDT and Smart network executives led by PLDT Network Head Eric Santiago to hand over the award. Also in attendance were Head of Network Quality Radames Zalameda, Head of Network Strategy and Planning John Emill Buencamino, Network Build and Implementation Head Debbie M. Hu and Head of Network Design Arvin L. Siena.

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“This is a great recognition by umlaut. We at PLDT like to say that our customers are our North Star. The mobile benchmarking by umlaut demonstrates that we have delivered on that promise and underscores our efforts to sustain our leadership in the marketplace,” said PLDT Network Head Eric Santiago, who added that moving forward, PLDT will also include artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to ensure continuous improvements.  

“The true barometer of our network’s performance is the experience of our customers. These tests by umlaut are based on real-world experience, and we are heartened by these results that show that our investments are paying off. However, our work does not end here as we intend to continue improving our network in order to elevate the experience of our customers. Whatever their use case may be — may it be for video, gaming or work — our aim is to deliver the best possible experience,” he added.

As of end-September, Smart had deployed 77,200 base stations, including 7,300 5G base stations and close to 40,000 4G/LTE base stations. Smart’s network covers 97% of the population with 3G, LTE, and 5G.

Smart’s mobile network is supported by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country. As of end-September, PLDT has expanded its total fiber footprint to about 1,091,000 kilometers, consisting of over 231,000 kilometers of international fiber and almost 860,000 kilometers of domestic fiber.

“We are here to ultimately enable hybrid workplaces and businesses in the New Normal, as well as boost Government’s digitalization initiatives,” he added.

Since 2019, Smart has been given the “Best in Test award”. That year, PLDT’s wireless arm was cited for having the best and widest 4G/LTE coverage, and fastest upload and download speeds.

In 2021, in conferring the “Best in Test” award alongside other citations, umlaut noted Smart’s superior and progressively improving network even with the impact of COVID-19, unlike its competitor.

umlaut also cited Smart for consistently showing higher throughput rates than its competitor, and for providing the best network performance during the 30th Southeast Asian Games in December 2019.

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

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