Smart scored higher in 4 of 5 NTC parameters | Inquirer Opinion

Smart scored higher in 4 of 5 NTC parameters

/ 09:53 PM September 28, 2012

I write to clarify the column of Mr. Neal Cruz (Inquirer, 9/24/12) which discussed the results of the Quality of Service Benchmarking Tests conducted by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

It appears that the column was based largely on the public statements of Globe Telecom officials who claimed that the NTC tests showed their network at par with, if not superior to, that of Smart. My friends at Globe arrived at this grossly misleading conclusion only through a very distorted representation of the NTC test results.

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The fact is that Smart’s network rated higher in four of the five parameters defined by NTC in consultation with all three mobile phone operators. These four important parameters are: drop call rate, call set up time, average signal quality, and average received signal level.

Based on the tests, Smart comes out superior despite the fact that these were conducted in the second quarter of 2012 when its network transformation program was still in progress, particularly in Metro Manila where the tests were conducted.

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Globe officials disregarded these parameters or downplayed their significance to assert that the difference between Smart and Globe in these parameters are insignificant. Instead, they put a white-hot spotlight on the “blocked call” parameter, which was the only test that showed better results for Globe.

This sort of selective vision makes the NTC tests stand on their head.

Take the case of the NTC test benchmark called the “average received signal level” or ARSL, which the column says “refers to the signal strength (strong signal means full bars on your mobile phone).”

“On the signal level, both telcos were below the -85 dBm standard. The two networks are also tied in these rounds,” the column said.

Essentially, the same assertion on this point was made in Globe’s press statement last week, which claimed that “both telcos did not make it to the standard,” the “minimum acceptable range” being -85 dBm.

Funny, but both these claims are wrong in exactly the same way. The truth is both carriers passed the standard. Globe posted a score of

-69.83 dBm, but Smart delivered much better results: -62.63 dBm. The difference in values seems minimal, but it is quite significant.

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In this parameter, the values are expressed in terms of negative numbers. The lower the negative number, the stronger the signal. Translated into layman’s terms, what this result means is that Smart’s signal level is up to five times stronger than Globe’s.

My friends at Globe would like you to think this is a small matter. But a stronger signal level means better indoor coverage, better voice quality, less drop calls, faster and more reliable SMS, and higher data speeds. In terms of consumer experience, people can make their own conclusions.

We are encouraged that the NTC tests validate Smart’s network superiority. But what really matters is our customers’ satisfaction and judgment.

—MON ISBERTO,

head, Public Affairs,

Smart Communications Inc.

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