PHL 5G still in infancy, but improvements significant, Opensignal says

THE FIFTH generation (5G) of mobile communications technology in the Philippines is still in its “infancy,” but has delivered improvements to users’ mobile experience, mobile analytics company Opensignal said.

“We’ve seen that 5G already delivers significant improvements to our Filipino users’ mobile experience when compared to that seen when they only connect to 4G services, for video, multiplayer gaming and for speed,” Opensignal said its latest analysis.

“The improvements are just the start in the 5G era,” it added, noting that unlike 4G, 5G is still a developing technology, “so the gap will likely widen between 4G and 5G in future.”

Comparing Filipinos’ experience with early-stage 5G to when they adopted 3G and 4G technologies, Opensignal said users saw “10.2 times faster speeds” from 5G.

“Our users racked up an impressive 149 Mbps (megabits per second) when connected to 5G which is 10.2 times faster than the 14.6 Mbps seen in 4G,” Opensignal said.

“The speed gap between 3G and 4G was smaller with 4G speeds a much lower (but still impressive) 3.5 times faster than 3G speeds,” it added.

Filipino users experienced 3.7 times faster upload speeds on 5G than on 4G.

“Our users saw average upload speeds of 14.5 Mbps when connected to 5G or 10.5 Mbps higher than those seen on 4G,” Opensignal said.

But the ratio between 5G and 4G is lower than that between 4G and 3G, it noted. “5G upload speeds were 3.7 times faster than 4G, while average 4G upload speeds were four times faster than those seen when connected to 3G.”

“This indicates that currently, the 4G/5G uplift on average upload speeds is less in percentage terms than the difference seen when moving from 3G to 4G. However, the boost that 5G provides is likely to make a noticeable difference to our users,” Opensignal added.

Opensignal also said in its analysis that Filipino smartphone users experienced an “excellent” video experience when connected to 5G.

“We found that our users enjoyed an Excellent (75 or above) video experience when connected to 5G, instead of the Good (55-65) video experience seen when connected to 4G. In contrast, with 3G, they had a Fair (40-55) video experience,”

Opensignal defines an excellent rating as “very consistent experience across all users, video streaming providers and resolutions tested, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling.”

In terms of user experience when connected to 4G, Opensignal said the rating was 19.3 points (46.8%) higher than when connected to 3G.

Filipino smartphone users also had a “much better” gaming experience on 5G and 4G.

“Our Filipino users had a Fair (65-75) games experience when connected to 5G and the 5G score was a startling 29.6 points (1.7 times) higher than the score for 4G games experience,” Opensignal noted.

“The gap between the 3G and 4G games experience was not as large, as there was a difference of 9.9 points between the two scores and the 4G games experience score was 1.3 times higher than the 3G games experience. The games experience observed on 4G and 3G connections was Poor (40-65) and Very Poor (under 40), respectively,” it added. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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