Most of us here are still living in the 4G world. But there appears to be a great surprise for Malaysia in the most recent worldwide 5G analysis from mobile network monitoring company Opensignal, as we have increased dramatically in the speed charts.
Malaysia now ranks second in the world for 5G download speeds and second for 5G peak download speeds, according to its study. In fact, Malaysia is at the top of the global table for 5G upload speeds.
With a top 5G upload speed of 50.3Mbps, Malaysia also surges ahead of everyone else in this category. Compared to a few months ago, Malaysia has made significant progress up the 5G speed charts. In fact, Malaysia didn’t even make an appearance on any of these charts in Opensignal’s March 2022 global 5G report.
So, why is our 5G performing so well? Ian Fogg of Opensignal points out that Malaysia continues to be an outlier in these 5G speed rankings. This is due to the fact that only two operators—Unifi Mobile and Yes—have joined DNB to install 5G domestically, and as a result, 5G in Malaysia still only sees a very limited penetration. Even then, the only provider of 5G mobile data plans at the moment is Yes. Additionally, the fact that the existing 5G service does not currently support Apple iPhones is not helpful.
The real test for Malaysia, he continued, would come in the coming months, if and when more carriers started marketing their own 5G services. He predicts that when more telcos and customers switch to 5G, our 5G experience will deteriorate noticeably. Currently, only a small portion of Kuala Lumpur, Cyberjaya, and Putrajaya have reliable 5G coverage via DNB in Malaysia. DNB hopes to have 5G coverage in place across 80% of the nation by 2024, with plans to extend service to Penang and Johor.
Our biggest weaknesses when it comes to 5G are availability and user experience.
“Notably, [games] is the only experiential category where Malaysia features in the table highlighting the importance of end-to-end experience for video streaming, multiplayer mobile gaming and voice communications — Malaysia’s 5G wholesale network only covers the access network, essentially the cell towers, and Malaysia’s operators continue to use their existing core networks and peering to enable the complete experience for users.”Opensignal, Analysis Team Lead, Ian Fogg
The availability of 5G in other ASEAN nations has put Malaysia well behind, according to an earlier report from Ookla published earlier this month. Thailand now has one of the highest rates of 5G availability in the area (24.6%), followed by the Philippines (18.1%) and Singapore (8.9%). In this context, 5G availability refers to the frequency with which a device connects to a 5G network. Due to the lack of widespread 5G deployment in Malaysia, neither the Ookla report nor the Opensignal report made any mention of Malaysia’s 5G availability.
Let’s hope one day all of us can start enjoying 5G soon.