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Maxis still the Fastest 4G LTE Network in Malaysia – OpenSignal Report

Maxis continues to be the fastest 4G LTE network in Malaysia according to the latest report from OpenSignal.

opensignal maxis celcom digi u mobile 4g lte network

OpenSignal is a company that tracks and map wireless coverage around the world using its Android and iOS mobile apps. For this report, OpenSignal analyzed nearly 1.3 billion measurements collected from 233,257 smart devices in the 90 days between 1st June 2018 and 29 August.

Summary:

Average 4G Download Speeds

  • Maxis: 22.54Mbps
  • Celcom Axiata: 15.08Mbps
  • Digi: 11.34Mbps
  • U Mobile: 10.95Mbps
  • Yes 4G: 11.43Mbps
  • Unifi Mobile: 5.93Mbps

Average 3G Download Speeds

  • Celcom Axiata: 3.61Mbps
  • Maxis: 3.57Mbps
  • U Mobile: 3.38Mbps
  • Digi: 3.1Mbps

Average Overall Download Speeds

  • Maxis: 17.14Mbps
  • Celcom Axiata: 12.36Mbps
  • Yes 4G: 11.43Mbps
  • Digi: 8.38Mbps
  • U Mobile: 7.09Mbps
  • Unifi: 4.63Mbps

Average 4G Upload Speeds

  • Maxis: 8.14Mbps
  • U Mobile: 7.62Mbps
  • Celcom Axiata: 6.89Mbps
  • Digi: 5.64Mbps
  • Unifi Mobile: 3.45Mbps
  • Yes 4G: 2.08Mbps

Average 4G Latency
Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

  • Maxis: 39.93ms
  • U Mobile: 40.83ms
  • Unifi Mobile: 43.05ms
  • Celcom Axiata: 45.7ms
  • Digi: 47.65ms
  • Yes 4G: 55.43ms

Average 3G Latency
Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

  • U Mobile: 64.97ms
  • Maxis: 69.2ms
  • Celcom Axiata: 70.34ms
  • Digi: 86.41ms

4G Availability
It’s a measure of how often users can access a 4G network rather than a measure of geographic or population coverage.

  • Yes 4G: 92.91%
  • Celcom Axiata: 86.18%
  • Maxis: 82.7%
  • Unifi: 76.79%
  • Digi: 76.61%
  • U Mobile: 61.1%

The report from OpenSignal also indicated that Maxis has the fastest 4G average download speeds in Ipoh (24.85Mbps), Johor Baharu (25.28Mbps), Kuala Lumpur (20.76Mbps), Malacca (24.48Mbps), Seberang Perai and Penang Island (18.96Mbps). OpenSignal said that Celcom users have access to 4G LTE services most of the time in these cities compared to users on other 4G networks.

OpenSignal Analysis

Malaysia’s 4G progress is marching steadily forward. We’re seeing many trends in Malaysia that we see in countries where LTE is reaching maturity. 4G’s reach is the best its ever been in the country with five of Malaysia’s six operators able to provide an LTE connection more than 75% of the time. We also saw a slight dip in 4G speeds, which is a good indication that more Malaysians are signing up for 4G services. Though few of our awards changed hands since our last Malaysia report, we did track some major moves from one operator in our metrics. We recorded a big jump in Celcom’s 4G availability results, which in turn led to a bump in its overall download speed score. Celcom is still well behind the leaders in both metrics, Yes and Maxis respectively, but it is now ensconced in second place and closing the gaps in both categories.

For the fourth installment of OpenSignal’s Malaysia report, we analyzed nearly 1.3 billion measurements collected from 233,257 devices in the 90 days between June 1 and Aug. 29. We compared the 3G and 4G services of Celcom, DiGi, Maxis and U Mobile, and the 4G services of Telekom Malaysia’s Unifi (formerly Webe) and new entrant Yes, both of which are LTE-only provides. Our most extensive regional analysis to date is also included in this report, exploring our seven core metrics for Malaysia’s five biggest operators in five major urban areas. Let’s start first with a discussion on availability.

4G reach grows as speeds fall

Yes won our 4G availability prize as our users were able to access its LTE connections 92.9% of the time. The LTE-only operator remains the only Malaysian provider with a 4G availability score over 90% in our measurements, but it may soon face a challenger. While Celcom’s 4G availability leaped upwards by 5 percentage points since our last report, while Yes’s score stayed relatively static. If Celcom’s 4G availability keeps growing at this pace — and Yes’s availability remains idle — it could close the gap with Yes quickly.

Five of Malaysia’s six operators now have 4G availability scores greater than 75%, a sign that operators’ 4G rollouts are reaching maturity. The lone holdout was U Mobile, which had a 4G availability of 61.1% in our measurements.

In speed, Maxis again turned in another dominant performance, winning three of our speed awards outright and drawing for the win in the fourth. In 4G download speed, Maxis averaged connections of 22.5 Mbps in our measurements, making it the only operator to surpass the 20 Mbps mark. We did, however, record drops in 4G download speed for every operator except U Mobile. In the case of Yes, that decline was quite severe, from 15.7 Mbps to 11.4 Mbps in six months. This is a common trend we see in countries were LTE services are maturing. As more customers sign up for 4G plans, they consume more capacity on the network, causing average speeds to fall.

Maxis won our 4G upload speed award with an average connection of 8.1 Mbps, and it was tied for first place in 3G download speed with Celcom. Maxis also easily won our overall speed download award, which tracks the average connection speed our users see across operators’ 3G and 4G networks. A year ago, Yes had our overall speed award locked down due to the strength of its 4G availability and its high 4G download speed results. But since then, Yes’s 4G speeds have fallen dramatically, allowing both Maxis and Celcom to surpass the upstart operator in our overall download metric.

Our final metric category, latency, measures the round-trip response time of data requests sent through the network. A lower latency connection can mean that web content and video begins loading faster or less lag in real-time communication apps. U Mobile asserted itself in our results, winning our 3G latency award with a response time of 69.2 milliseconds, and it came within a hair’s breadth of taking our 4G latency award as well. Maxis, however, took the prize with a 4G response time just below 40ms.

4G availability pops in the big cities

In OpenSignal’s regional analysis of Malaysia’s biggest cities, we examined our seven core metrics for Malaysia’s five largest operators. Many of our city results reflected our national results with Maxis winning our 4G download speed and overall download speed awards in all five areas. 3G download speed was a much more competitive category with Celcom assuming a lead over Maxis in our Kuala Lumpur and Penang results and U Mobile taking the 3G award in Malacca. Meanwhile in 4G availability we saw some stellar results in the big cities. Nearly every operator far exceeded its national availability score in each of the five cities. Celcom in particular stood out among the five operators we examined. We measured 4G availability greater than 90% for the operator in four of the five markets.

Malaysia exemplifies its region. Like its Southeast Asian neighbors, Malaysia is focused first and foremost on expanding access to LTE — reflected in its high availability scores — as almost any LTE connection is superior to a 2G or 3G link. But, as is the trend in the region, 4G speeds in Malaysia are relatively slow. Only one operator, Maxis, averaged 4G download speeds higher than the global average of 16.9 Mbps.

As all of Malaysia’s operators pass the 80% availability mark, we may well see Malaysia’s operators shift their focus to increasing capacity and speed. We’re already seeing some signs. In September, Celcom announced plans to upgrade its LTE network, and once low-frequency 700 MHz airwaves make their way into Malaysian networks, operators could move into a new phase of network growth. More spectrum means more capacity and support for LTE-Advanced, and that translates into faster speeds and a better mobile experience overall

[Download PDF]– OpenSignal State of Mobile Networks: Malaysia (October 2018) report

About Kugan

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