4G is everywhere in Malaysia but slow, says global internet index

4G-MalaysiaKUALA LUMPUR: Although 4G technology is available 74.88% of the time to Malaysians, its speed leaves much to be desired. According to a report by OpenSignal, a company that specialises in wireless coverage mapping, the 4G speed in the country is only 14.83Mbps.

In contrast, Singapore which has 84.43% availability, offers a 4G speed of 44.31Mbps. Singapore’s speed, in fact, is the best among the 88 countries OpenSignal surveyed.

In terms of availability, South Korea leads with 97.49%, followed by Japan (94.70%) and Norway (92.16%). Malaysia is 42nd on the list. In terms of speed, Malaysia is at 69th position.

Open Signal said its latest State of LTE (Long Term Evolution) report parsed more than 50 billion measurements collected between Oct 1 and Dec 29 last year by more than 3.8 million smartphone and tablet users across six continents. It analysed the average LTE speed and LTE availability of 88 countries.

According to the report, over the last eight years, the global mobile industry has relentlessly pushed the limits of 4G technology to milk as much speed out of its networks as possible.

“Through LTE-Advanced upgrades, improved smartphone technology and new spectrum, mobile operators have elevated average 4G speeds first beyond 20 Mbps, then beyond 30 Mbps, and in the last two years, beyond 40 Mbps. But the industry seems to have reached a limit to what current technology, spectral bandwidth and mobile economics can support on a nationwide level.

“For the last several State of LTE reports, OpenSignal has found that in the fastest countries average LTE download speeds have stalled at just over 45 Mbps. The industry is still waiting on that spark that will push speeds beyond 50 Mbps on a national level.”

However, it added, that spark could be expected soon, as operators were embracing the latest iterations of LTE-Advanced technology.

It noted that operators around the world had spread their LTE signals into more and more nooks and crannies, giving consumers unprecedented access to mobile broadband connections.

“Three months ago, there were only two countries in the world that could claim their consumers had access to an LTE connection 90% of the time. Now five countries can make that boast. But LTE reach isn’t just expanding among the top tier countries. The developing world is making huge strides in increasing 4G availability.

“In our last report, we found that speeds were stagnating among the fastest 4G countries, and when it comes to the fastest of the fast that trend still holds true. The top four countries — those that average LTE downloads of 40 Mbps or more — are nowhere nearer reaching the 50 Mbps benchmark. In fact, speeds among those top four countries actually declined as a whole.

“Three months ago the fastest 4G speeds we measured were in Singapore with an average LTE download of 46.6 Mbps. In this report, Singapore still tops the speed charts, but its average download speed is now below 45 Mbps.”

However, it said, in its last report, only 13 countries averaged speeds greater than 30 Mbps but the latest figures show that 18 countries have surpassed the 30 Mbps mark.

“What’s more, three months ago, 55% of the countries we analysed had LTE speed averages of 20 Mbps or greater. Now that number is 60%.”