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Maxis and Yes battle for 4G supremacy in Kuala Lumpur

Last month OpenSignal published its State of Mobile Networks: Malaysia report, examining the 3G and 4G experience provided by the Southeast Asian country's large complement of mobile operators. Today, we're drilling down into that data a bit more to see how those six operators' 4G services stacks up in Malaysia's largest city and political and economic center: Kuala Lumpur.

We looked at 4G availability and 4G speeds in Kuala Lumpur between June 1 and August 31 so we could compare the results directly against the national averages we recorded for each operator in our report. Let's start with 4G availability.

Mirroring its results in our national report, Yes had the most widely available 4G service in Kuala Lumpur in our tests. OpenSignal users were able to latch onto a Yes LTE signal 93.1% of the time, putting it well ahead of its rivals. As a 4G-only provider, however, Yes has a big incentive to build a highly accessible LTE network as it has no 3G data network to fall back on. One other interesting thing to note: Yes's Kuala Lumpur availability remained consistent with its nationwide availability score of 93.2%, reflecting the fact that much of its customer base is concentrated in the big cities.

Meanwhile, the other six operators all saw big increases in their availability scores in KL compared to their national scores. Maxis was able to provide an LTE connection to our testers 86.2% of the time in the capital versus 80.5% of the time across the country. Celcom and DiGi had availability ratings of 80% or better in Kuala Lumpur, while on the national level both had 4G availability scores below 75%. Even the poorest performers in our national 4G availability rankings, U Mobile and Webe, provided strong signals in KL, offering up LTE connections more than 70% of the time in our tests.

In 4G speed is where we saw the biggest contrasts between Malaysia's six providers. In short, the fast got even faster in the capital region, while the slow got even slower. Celcom, DiGi and Yes saw their tested LTE speeds jump upwards in Kuala Lumpur by several megabits compared to their national averages. At the other end of the spectrum, U Mobile and Webe's already poor national 4G scores dipped even lower in our KL measurements. U Mobile saw the biggest drop in our tests, averaging LTE downloads in the capital of only 5.5 Mbps.

The most interesting speed result, however, was the winner of the category. While Maxis won OpenSignal's national 4G speed award hands down with an average LTE download of 23.6 Mbps, its measured speeds in KL were a tad slower. That helped Yes close the gap, and the result was a statistical tie between Maxis and Yes in Kuala Lumpur for 4G speed with both averaging downloads over 23 Mbps.

The Malaysian capital is certainly no stranger to consistent LTE connections, though our data shows that the speed of those connections varies dramatically depending on the network. Tell us about your own 4G experiences in Kuala Lumpur in the comments section below, and if you haven't done so already, download OpenSignal's apps to test those networks for yourself.