Latest OpenSignal report reveals more prospects for country’s internet growth
Above and beyond the progressive advances in its infrastructure and network performance which yielded observable improvements by third-party sources, Globe Telecom affirms its position that its internet speeds could still be further enhanced by institutionalizing IP peering in the Philippines.
In recent reports of UK-based wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal, Globe posted commendable numbers in terms of better lower latency or lag time – an important metric it said in terms of true user experience, especially in using mobile internet. Crowd-sourced data revealed that Globe is the most efficient among local telecommunication providers at 93 milliseconds (ms) for its LTE service, almost twice or 99% better than its main rival, which was at 185.4 ms at the time of the report.
Despite its 2-to-1 edge over competition, particularly in the aspects of latency and downloading, Globe reiterates its stance to localize internet protocol (IP) peering which is expected to dramatically advance the country’s internet development and performance, overall affecting speeds.
Call for IP connectivity. These past months, Globe officials have actively lobbied for an effective and applicable IP peering agreement to be put in place among major internet service providers (ISPs), echoing the call by industry regulator National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) itself. They have cited the absence of such as a huge deterrent in further advancing the state of Philippine internet.
“Our investments in our modernized network to address the onslaught of data usage and improvements in performance of our internet speeds over competition notwithstanding, we reiterate that better internet experience rests on IP peering available to all local ISPs,” Globe Vice President for Product Development & Management Francisco “Cocoy” Claravall IV said.
He explained that Globe has invested bulk of its capital expenditure budget for data-related infrastructure as data consumption becomes more pervasive to consumers every day. More than P9 billion from proceeds in a recent share issuance is earmarked for deployment of next-generation LTE technologies and completion of its 4G HSPA+ rollout.
“The full potential of these initiatives will only be maximized and experienced by more Filipinos nationwide through a mandatory IP peering of Philippine ISPs. At Globe, we strongly believe it is the only way we can capitalize all the gains our network has put in place,” Claravall said.
Concerned citizenry. The Globe executive cited the NTC’s account in a Senate hearing that in the case of Singapore and South Korea, internet traffic is mostly generated internally as a result of their effective IP peering policies, which in turn enhances internet speed. “In fact, the issue has fired up even ordinary customers as they have become interested in a technical subject as IP peering,” he noted.
Even the Department of Science and Technology supports this position, he said, as it allows internet exchange through the Philippine Open Internet Exchange or PHOpenIX, the only internet exchange facility operated by a neutral organization, in this case, by the government. In the middle of this year, Globe challenged PLDT to make good its claim of supporting IP peering by connecting to PHOpenIX.
Claravall mentioned that the PHOpenIX is actually a sustainable and a viable proposition, following the concept of what telecomasia.net calls as “network effects,” which says that as more networks are connected, the value of the peering point increases.’ Further, in an interview on a local IP peering case study, the website quoted the Metcalf Law stating that, “the value of the telco network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system.”
“Other foreign-based ICT service providers such as cloud computing firms also share our position on IP peering as crucial that the government should compel local telcos to connect to PHOpenIX. In other countries they said, similar efforts have become successful as they saw and reaped real benefits from it,” he stressed.
Faster local traffic. “If we reference the parameters referred to by OpenSignal, local IP peering will establish direct access points among ISPs, giving entities faster exchange of information and enabling improved throughput and latency leading toward enhanced bandwidth utilization,” Claravall added.
The absence of applicable IP peering agreement among major ISPs in the Philippines also makes the country less resilient with its dependency on international cables, which poses a threat to the overall internet connectivity of the country in times of disaster. Case in point is the 2008 earthquake in Taiwan which caused breakage of major international cables which made even local internet sites and government websites inaccessible. Also, lack of an applicable domestic IP peering policy in the Philippines entails huge operating costs for ISPs like Globe.
Globe through its Enterprise Group has also been actively participating in international IP peering forums, such as the prestigious Asia-Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies or APRICOT which was held this year in Malaysia. The corporate ICT arm of Globe Telecom actively promoted the implementation of IP peering in every country as beneficial to its mobile and data utilization. It has also further optimized and enhanced internet peering in the Asia-Pacific region with the Singapore Internet Exchange or SGIX during its third Annual General Meeting last year.
The Globe VP reiterated that IP peering will positively impact not just individual customers in terms of their mobile usage, but will augur well with the business environment and improve the country’s position against its regional neighbors as well as more internet-advanced countries.