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How Fast is the Celcom 4G LTE Network in KL? – Oct 2017

The Celcom 4G LTE network was recently upgraded to offer faster Internet speeds beyond 400Mbps. The upgrade has been on-going since August 2017 in phases and such speeds will only be supported on the latest smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8.

For existing smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and other smartphones with similar network capabilities, Celcom has enabled Carrier Aggregation for its LTE-Advanced network, offering speeds up to 300Mbps.

One of the major features of LTE-Advanced and LTE-A Pro is Carrier Aggregation (CA), which allows mobile network operators to combine a number of separate LTE carriers. With Carrier Aggregation, Celcom is able to utilise all the spectrum (radio frequency) it has, including in the 1800Mhz, 2.6Ghz bands, combining them to deliver faster Internet speeds on supported devices.

Unfortunately, the Internet speeds promised by all the Telcos can only be achieved in theory or in the test lab.

Every few years, mobile operators around the world announce some big new network or network enhancement that promises to blow the doors off whatever our current mobile data speeds happen to be at the time. We see announcements proclaiming 150Mbps, 300Mbps, 450Mbps, even 800Mbps connections. But when these promised super networks finally arrive, the speeds that filter down to our smartphones and tablets are much slower. How does a 300Mbps network suddenly produce a 10Mbps speed?

According to OpenSignal, a company that tracks wireless coverage, that’s the tricky thing about cellular technologies. Mobile capacity is by definition shared capacity, a shared network. Even if a mobile technology is theoretically capable of supporting speeds of 300Mbps, that capacity has to be shared by every other user connected to a particular tower or cell in the network, so those 300 megabits get divided up among multiple devices. Even in the rare instance a single device is connected to a tower, it can’t access a network’s full theoretical speed due to any number of technical factors ranging from interference to distance — physics simply doesn’t cooperate. Finally, the performance of the wireless connection isn’t the only thing determining the speed of a mobile data link. All of the other components in between your phone’s processor and the server where your content resides plays a role in determining your internet connection speed.

MalaysianWireless decided to take Celcom 4G LTE for a drive to selected areas around Kuala Lumpur. Below is our speedtest experience:

What we used for the test:

  • Celcom Xpax Prepaid (with a high speed mobile Internet plan)
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro smartphone (capable of LTE-A (3CA), Cat12 600Mbps download/150 Mbps upload)
  • Speedtest.net Android Application (Premium version)

Celcom 4G LTE Speedtest Results as of October 2017:

  Test Location Download Speed Upload Speed Ping
1. Pasaraya OTK (Jalan Gombak) 60.50Mbps 34.66Mbps 19ms
2. JPJ Wangsa Maju 17.94Mbps 46.57Mbps 20ms
3. Taman Tasik Titiwangsa 112.55Mbps 18.58Mbps 21ms
4. Menara Celcom (Main Entrance) 59.02Mbps 45.50Mbps 18ms
5. KLCC (Main Entrance) 151.99Mbps 47.42Mbps 18ms
6. Imbi Monarail 68.86Mbps 21.89Mbps 17ms
7. Alof KL Sentral (Main Entrance) 70.87Mbps 26.11Mbps 19ms
8. MidValley (Main Entrance) 105.87Mbps 39.52Mbps 22ms
9. Damansara City (Jalan Damanlela) 63.28Mbps 45.98Mbps 19ms
10. Sunway Velocity (Jalan Peel) 45.93Mbps 8.88Mbps 18ms

Note:

  1. The purpose of the test is to measure the fastest Internet speeds on the Celcom 4G LTE network during off-peak period. The speedtest was conducted early in the morning, between 5.30am to 8am on 2 October 2017.
  2. All test were performed outdoor, by the roadside, inside a stationary vehicle.
  3. Signal reception was full bar on the smartphone during all the speedtest.
  4. Each speedtest was only performed one time. The speedtest was not repeated to obtain a faster result.
  5. All speedtest were performed against the Telekom Malaysia server on Speedtest.net

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Issues we experienced with the Celcom 4G LTE Network (Note: We have notified Celcom) :

  1. No 4G+ (LTE-A) in some locations, for example in front Menara Celcom. (4G+ refers to LTE-A with Carrier Aggregation).
  2. In some location, 4G+ appears to be unstable. Sometimes the Internet connection falls from 4G+ to 4G despite we were not moving.
  3. Around 3 of the location tested, there were no Internet connectivity initially despite the phone was showing full 4G LTE signal. We had to reset the line to get a working Internet connection (turn on and turn off Airplane mode).

P.s: Stay tuned for our speedtest report on Digi 4G LTE.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

  • Harshaan Ruben

    waiting for Yellowman results