The mobile broadband war is getting more intense as the two mobile services rivals try to claim ownership of having the fastest mobile broadband service.
Smart Communications started to run an advertisement claiming that its SmartBro wireless broadband service is the fastest, based on a public field test conducted by a company called PSRC (Philippine Survey and Research Center).
The SmartBro TV commercial showed a celebrity host testing a SmartBro kit and a second kit that is blurred on screen, apparently the unit from rival Globe. The host utilized the popular bandwidth testing site SpeedTest.Net, with the results showing SmartBro as the fastest.
However, rival Globe Telecom, which owns the Globe Tattoo brand, questioned the credibility of Smart’s claims saying that their rival’s test was full of fallacies as it used one website for measurement. In a press conference, Globe’s network engineers claimed that SpeedTest.Net only captures the “burst speed” of the network being tested during a certain period, but not the actual total speed within a sustained period.
Broadband and Landline Group Marketing Head Mari Litonjua added that Smart’s test was only within one place. To counter this claim Litonjua said they wanted an independent review and tapped telecommunications system integrator NESIC Philippines to conduct a series of tests using Globe Tattoo and SmartBro.
They also included a competing kit from Sun’s own wireless broadband service but only for Metro Manila where the service is only available.
Instead of just using SpeedTest.net, Litonjua showed they also used a speed testing software called Netpersec and a second speed testing website, 2Wire.com.
“We don’t want do the test in one place just like they did. So we tested it in several areas,” Litonjua said, noting that these areas were chosen at random and based on foot traffic.
As the NESIC results showed, Globe Tattoo outmatched SmartBro in all of the tests. Only Sun Cellular’s wireless broadband performed nearly the same as Globe Tattoo, and it also outgunned SmartBro.
The NESIC test, however, did not include a prolonged time-based test, which could also affect the kit’s bandwidth. There are external, uncontrolled factors that can affect bandwidth speed, even in high-signal locations. One of these include the number of mobile phone and wireless broaband users in a given area who are connecting at the same time.
Still, Litonjua stressed that the purpose of the test was to get the most comprehensive measurement and make people aware of the claims. “What’s important is user experience and we’re trying to address that.”
SmartBro has over 500,000 users in the Philippines. Globe claims that it has over 110,000 wireless broadband subscribers, the majority of which are from its Globe Tattoo service.
Smart has yet to respond to Globe’s test results.