Malaysian telcos dominate global 5G rankings for speeds and games

Malaysian telcos dominate global 5G rankings for speeds and games

As Malaysia continues to position itself as a major hotbed of 5G activity and innovation, the country’s operators are dominating the latest global 5G report from Opensignal, particularly in terms of download speeds and gaming experience.

In this year’s 5G Global Mobile Network Experience Awards from Opensignal, Telekom Malaysia’s mobile arm Unifi tied with Sweden’s Telenor to win the ‘5G Download Speeds’ category for Group I countries (i.e. countries with a land area greater than 200,000 square km). In terms of actual average speeds, Telenor was slightly faster at 421 Mbps, but Unifi’s 407 Mbps was enough to make it a statistical tie.

Compared to Group II countries (i.e. countries with a land area less than 200,000 square km), Unifi still made a good showing. South Korea’s SK Telecom has the fastest 5G download speeds anywhere (458 Mbps), but when combining both groups, Unifi still ranks 4th overall.

Meanwhile, Malaysian operator Digi made it into the top five in Group I, ranking 4th with 384 Mbps, bookended by Brazilian operators Vivo and TIM.  

Opensignal qualified the Malaysian results by noting that 5G usage in the country hasn’t been all that heavy this year. “Malaysian users have been benefitting from the relatively light load on the country’s single wholesale 5G network, the Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), partly as the last operator to join it – Maxis – only launched 5G in August 2023.”

The light load could also be attributed to the fact that 5G uptake in Malaysia remains under 5%, according to the Ministry Of Communications And Digital, even as coverage expands across the country.

Even so, Malaysian operators ruled the category of ‘5G Games Experience’, which measures how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming. Digi statistically tied for 1st place with Japan’s Softbank. Celcom took 3rd, while U Mobile tied for 4th place with Indonesia’s Telkomsel.

(Editor’s note: CelcomDigi has operated as one company since their merger in November 2022, but have continued to sell mobile services as separate brands, which is why Opensignal rates them separately.)

The Opensignal report will be good news for Malaysian officials keen to promote the country as a regional and global tech hub.

Earlier this week, when DNB, TM and ZTE unveiled their trial of millimetre-wave 5G SA technology, Teo Nie Ching, the Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital, remarked that the trial “reaffirms Malaysia’s commitment to advancing technology” and “underscores our determination to lead the way in technological advancements on the global stage.”

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