Masbad: Battleground: Video experience

Wacky Tech

LAST September 2018, Opensignal launched a metric in measuring video experience levels for mobile networks worldwide. Of course, our country’s incumbent networks were rated as well. If you want to know how we fared in that debut of the metric, click here for the full report.

And as early as now in the year, Opensignal revisited how Smart and Globe is providing video experience for its mobile subscribers.

And it is not good. At least for Globe. Check out the table below. That’s a difference of 3.3 seconds. Suffice to say that if we are to base things on that table alone, it’s pretty safe to say that Smart is doing something smart with their networks here. And as my previous article talked about latency, it’s quite possible that Smart’s network is more responsive than Globe’s.

What we’ve seen so far are load times. That’s basically how fast a video clip will load then play after you click on it. The other thing that matters when it comes to video experience via a mobile connection is how stable that connection is. A 1-Gbps mobile connection doesn’t mean much if you get disconnected, dropped or stalled regularly and/or intermittently. If your experience is like being interrupted every few minutes by a question while watching a Marvel film, that, to me, is the very definition of a bad experience.

And that’s why we come to the second table. 4G Video Stalling Occurence. How many users are interrupted in their video watching experience?

Again, Smart is outsmarting Globe here. That’s a difference of 24.6 percent in the figures. That’s an ocean of difference, if you ask me. If it were less than 10 percent, I’d probably still let it slide. But 20 plus percent? Just. Wow. I’m not saying here that you go ahead of switch networks. I wouldn’t advice that even. Well, not until the complete IRR for the Mobile Number Portability Act has been released and published.

To wrap this up, I think figures like these from Opensignal lay out openly for everyone to see that, clearly, there needs to be a third player to drive innovation in the mobile technology sphere in the country. I still think that both Smart and Globe sat on their hands when it came to adopting and implementing new technologies for our mobile networks. I think for quite some time, both networks were stuck in the mindset that plain SMS will be more than enough for Pinoys.

Unfortunately for both, that was, is and will not be the case. Pinoys, especially the younger generations, will always demand for leading edge technologies that they, we, can leverage for daily use. When our neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region leapfrogged into the future when it came to mobile network technologies, our telcos here just watched idly by. And it’s only in recent years that they’ve been playing catch-up. Our video experience scores from last year and this year, is a clear indication that we’re not up to par.


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