Malaysians now experience slower Mobile Internet speeds compared to consumers in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, as of December 2021, ranking lower globally at 70 (out of 100).
The introduction of 5G globally has caused Malaysia to drop down the global speed ranks, says Opensignal, a platform that measures consumer mobile experience.
In its latest report titled, ‘5G Impact On The Global Mobile Network Experience‘, Opensignal says that Malaysia was late to launch 5G and new spectrum for 5G are limited.
“Malaysia fell from 61st to joint 70th in the same period, with 5G services only arriving at the end of 2021 as part of the single 5G wholesale network (Digital Nasional Berhad or DNB),”
Download speed experience in Southeast Asia:
|Download Speed Experience (Mbps)|
|Country||Q1 – 2019 (before 5G launched)||Q4 – 2021||Global Rank (out of 100)|
|Singapore||39.3 Mbps||49.9 Mbps||9|
|Vietnam||14.1 Mbps||25.5 Mbps||45|
|Thailand||5.7 Mbps||17.4 Mbps||60|
|Philippines||8.0 Mbps||15.1 Mbps||67|
|Indonesia||6.9 Mbps||14.4 Mbps||68|
|Malaysia||11.5 Mbps||13.5 Mbps||70|
|Cambodia||5.6 Mbps||12.2 Mbps||76|
The 5G network in Malaysia is exclusively controlled by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), a Government owned company, via the Ministry of Finance (MOF). DNB, which has taken a loan to launch its 5G network on 15 December 2021, is currently offering free access to the network until end of March 2022. The DNB 5G network is managed by Ericsson and will not work on 5G smartphones from Apple and Samsung at the moment.
DNB claims on its website that its 5G network is capable of average speeds above 500Mbps at the moment, but it is currently available at extremely limited areas with service availability only from the one of the smallest mobile network operator (MNO) in the country, YTL Communication (Yes).
Opensignal does not measure the performance of the Yes network in its reports for Malaysia.
Meanwhile, in its Global Mobile Network Experience Awards 2022 published last week, Opensignal said that U Mobile had the greatest percentage increase (6.7%) in Asia Pacific when it comes to 4G Availability, which refers to the proportion of time people have a network connection. The report is based on data collected in the second half of 2021 and 2020. Maxis was awarded ‘Global Rising Star’ status in two categories (Upload Speed Experience and 4G Availability) while U Mobile, Unifi and DiGi also achieved awards in the 4G Availability category. Unfortunately, no Malaysian mobile network improved enough to win Rising Star awards in the Video Experience, Games Experience, Voice App experience or Upload Speed Experience categories.
Update (18 February): Some corrections were made.