Monday, March 27, 2023

International Roaming in Singapore: Digi beats Maxis, Celcom and U Mobile – Opensignal

A latest insight from Opensignal revealed that Digi customers enjoys the best International roaming experience in Singapore in terms of download and upload speeds, performing better than other Malaysia cellular operators such as Maxis, Celcom Axiata and U Mobile.

Opensignal claims to be the independent global standard for measuring real world mobile network experience.

The analysis from Opensignal found that DiGi users enjoyed the best mobile Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed and Latency Experience while roaming in Singapore (via Singtel and Starhub) when compared with Malaysian roamers that are customers of other Malaysian operators. It also found considerable differences between the mobile experience seen by Malaysian roamers in Singapore and that observed by domestic Singaporean users.

There are 3 major mobile operators in Singapore namely: Singtel, Starhub and M1.

Malaysian Mobile User’s Average Download Speeds in Singapore (for the entire 2019):


  • Digi: 46.8Mbps (roaming on Singtel and Starhub)
  • Maxis: 33.5Mbps (roaming on Singtel and Starhub)
  • Celcom Axiata: 30.9Mbps (roaming on M1 and Starhub)
  • U Mobile: 16.6Mbps (roaming on Singtel and Starhub)

Singaporeans users on the domestic network enjoyed faster download speeds: Starhub (56.9Mbps), Singtel (54.6Mbps) and M1 (45.5Mbps).

“Operators typically have roaming agreements with one or more host networks, allowing their customers to roam on them while abroad. We detected that when in Singapore, DiGi and Maxis users typically roam on Singtel and StarHub, Celcom users most often roam on both M1 and StarHub, while U Mobile users typically roam on StarHub with Singtel also being used.” it said.

Opensignal said that the Download Speed Experience observed by Malaysian roamers is slower than the speeds enjoyed by Singaporean domestic users. This is particularly pronounced for U Mobile users (who typically roam on StarHub and Singtel), who observed an average Download Speed Experience of 16.6 Mbps — 40.4 Mbps less than the 56.9 Mbps seen by StarHub’s domestic users and 38.1 Mbps less than the speeds observed by Singtel domestic users.

Malaysian Mobile User’s Average Upload Speeds in Singapore (for the entire 2019):


  • Digi: 13.5Mbps (roaming on Singtel and Starhub)
  • Maxis: 11.3Mbps (roaming on Singtel and Starhub)
  • Celcom Axiata: 8.8Mbps (roaming on M1 and Starhub)
  • U Mobile: 7.3Mbps (roaming on Singtel and Starhub)

Singaporeans users on the domestic network enjoyed better upload speeds: Singtel (16.5Mbps), Starhub (16.4Mbps) and M1 (16.1Mbps).

Commenting on the upload speeds, Opensignal said, “We observed a similar pattern for Upload Speed Experience, albeit with a more pronounced difference between the speeds reported by roaming Maxis and Celcom customers and with less variation between those seen by domestic customers of different operators.”

When it comes to Latency in Singapore, all Malaysian roamers observed much higher latencies than domestic users, regardless of their choice of home operator, Opensignal said. “Celcom users observed the highest (and hence the slowest) Latency Experience of 48.8ms — slightly more than twice that seen by M1 users and nearly twice that observed by StarHub users.”

Malaysian Mobile User’s Average Latency in Singapore (for the entire 2019):


  • Digi: 36.4ms (roaming on Singtel and Starhub)
  • U Mobile: 40.9ms (roaming on Singtel and Starhub)
  • Maxis: 42.2ms (roaming on Singtel and Starhub)
  • Celcom Axiata: 48.8ms (roaming on M1 and Starhub)

In comparison, Singaporeans on domestic network enjoys the following Latency experience: M1 (23.8ms), Singtel (25.9ms) and Starhub (27ms).

Opensignal did not reveal the amount of data it collected for the insight above although it did reveal that it was collected between 1 January until 31 December 2019. The Opensignal app collects data from Android and iOS smartphone users.


Explaining the way in how International roaming works, Opensignal said “differences in the average mobile experience observed between roamers and domestic users may arise due to differences in the mix of mobile devices they’re using and the locations where they spend most of their time (as the mobile experience is typically superior in urban areas). There’s also the potential impact from the additional latency and potential bottlenecks created by having to relay the information between host and home core networks and between the home core and the content delivery networks.”

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

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