Internet speed has never been one of Malaysia’s strong suits.
The launch of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan should bring big improvements to user experience, but its goals remain “quite an ask”, a report by mobile analytics company Opensignal has said.
According to MyGOV, the plan aims to develop broadband infrastructure and ensure more efficient spectrum allocation, with a target widespread download speed of 30 mbps.
However, this is “quite an ask”, as Malaysia’s current download speeds hit 22 mbps at best in September, the British firm said.
In contrast, Singapore’s download speeds hit a maximum of 50.4 mbps in June.
But the market is set for consolidation in Malaysia, as competition is set to increase with six telcos in some cities, Opensignal said.
Additionally, when 5G is implemented, the rift of mobile network experiences in urban and rural Malaysia will be further divided because densely populated areas tend to receive such roll-outs before the rest of the country.
In October, a study by Opensignal revealed that Malaysian users in thinly-populated rural areas connect to 4G less than half of the time. In contrast, 4G is available 83.7 per cent of the time in densely populated urban areas.
Globally, Opensignal expects that 3G will continue to be more popular than 5G in 2020, as adoption is moving too slowly to overtake 3G usage in just one year.
The limited reach of current 5G networks means that users will still rely on 4G connections, which might result in network congestion, particularly at busy times of the day.
But when fully rolled out, 5G is expected to relieve network congestion and improve mobile experience – including video streaming and gaming – for consumers.
At the moment, video streaming is negatively impacted by congestion, poor latency and traffic management restrictions, the report said. Similarly, optimum gaming experience requires low latency and lightning fast networks, which 4G is unable to provide.
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