Globe Telecom Beats SMART on NTC’s Network Benchmark Test

We got an interesting news here folks. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) conducted a network benchmark tests just recently and the study showed which telco truly offers high quality service to its subscribers. The benchmarks, which include Grade of Service, Drop Call Rate, Call Set Up Time, Average Signal Quality, and Average Receive Signal Level from both Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, are all compared against NTC Cellular Mobile Telephone System (CMTS) standards.

In a nutshell, the results showed that Globe Telecom beats Smart, specifically on “Grade of Service” benchmark as the former scored nearly 4.45% while Smart was rated at 9.95%. NTC’s standard for Grade of Service is set at 4%, which means Globe is close to hitting that target.

Except for the Average Receive Signal Level, both telcos performed within the acceptable level of the other 3 standards. Interestingly enough, this includes the Drop Call Rate benchmark in which Globe and Smart was rated at parity. Such result made Globe Telecom confident into saying that “the results belie the claims made by Smart in its multi-million negative advertising campaigns pointing out drop calls and difficulty in making calls within the Globe legacy network.

NTC’s benchmark tests though were only conducted in 16 cities in Metro Manila and doesn’t directly reflect the actual performances in the Visayas and Mindanao region.

Full press release follows after the break.

Globe legacy network better than Smart’s upgraded network

NTC test results show Globe 2x better in grade of service

A recent network benchmark test conducted by the National Telecommunications Commission
(NTC), comparing the Grade of Service and overall signal quality of both Globe Telecom and
Smart Communications against NTC Cellular Mobile Telephone System (CMTS) standards
showed the Globe legacy network outperforming competition’s recently modernized network in
terms of grade of service. The Globe legacy network also performed at parity with the upgraded
network of Smart in almost all other metrics.

In the most important benchmark where the NTC has an applied industry standard consisting
of Grade of Service or Call Setup Failure Rate (CSFR), Globe Telecom’s legacy network
outperformed its competition who has widely announced its network upgrade completion.
With the Grade of Service or CSFR standard set by the NTC at 4%, Globe recorded a nearly
identical 4.45% while Smart registered a distant 9.95% (closer to the industry standard is better).
This means that call success rates are higher using the Globe legacy network at 95.55%. For
consumers, the experience is that it is easier to call using the Globe legacy network with more
calls getting connected even at first try.

For Drop Call Rate, the NTC standard is 2%, and test results showed both telcos performed
within the standard with Globe registering 1.6% at parity with Smart’s 1.5%. Clearly, the results
belie the claims made by Smart in its multi-million negative advertising campaigns pointing out
drop calls and difficulty in making calls within the Globe legacy network.

In terms of Call Set Up Time, both telcos performed within the acceptable standard of below
14 seconds. The Globe legacy network performed at parity with 11.9 seconds versus the Smart
upgraded network at 11.74 seconds. This is a measure of how fast domestic calls get connected
from one number to the other.

Other metrics in the study included Average Signal Quality with a minimum acceptable range
of 0-4, the closer to 0, the better. The telcos performed at parity, both performing above 0.50.
The final metric is the Average Receive Signal Level with a minimum acceptable range of -85
dBm. Both telcos did not make it to the standard.

The NTC benchmark study was conducted during the second quarter of 2012 in sixteen cities in
Metro Manila, through network drive tests using prepaid SIMs of both telcos with a sample size
of over 3,000 test calls.

NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba earlier called the attention of both Globe Telecom
and Smart Communications on what he referred to as increasing complaints from customers
about drop calls and undelivered text messages, asking both firms to explain the causes for the
disruptions and to give a timetable for completion of their network modernization programs.

Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu in his reaction to the recent NTC benchmark
results said, ”It is now clear who is telling the truth and really giving good service to the public
even with just our legacy network. Competition has claimed they are done with their upgrade
and there’s no denying the official results from NTC quality tests show their upgraded network
performs even below NTC standards. As soon as we fully fire up our brand new network, our
subscribers and the entire nation will enjoy a whole new mobile experience that is once again
pioneered by Globe Telecom.”

Globe announced recently that its $700-million network modernization program is more
than 50% done and is progressively rolling out ahead of schedule for change-out completion
nationwide within the first quarter of 2013. Cu said that unlike other transformation programs
that involve merely upgrades, Globe is building a brand-new network that is future-proof and
built to provide higher call quality, pervasive 3G and 4G coverage, and faster mobile internet
experience.

Update: September 20, 2012

Smart had issued a statement regarding Globe Telecom’s claim on NTC’s Q2 network quality tests.

Yesterday, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) confirmed the network superiority of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) following the release of the results of its network quality tests for the second quarter of this year which showed Smart posting significantly better test results than Globe Telecom.

Read Smart’s full press release here.

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