4G services may be a recent phenomenon in Myanmar, but the mobile broadband experience is by no means bad. OpenSignal found that the country's three major operators delivered not only fast speeds but also a high level of LTE access. In our first look at Myanmar, we analyzed more than 80 million measurements collected in the 1st quarter to see how the 3G and 4G services of MPT, Ooredoo and Telenor compared.
The first 4G services launched only two years ago, but in that limited time Myanmar's operators have managed to build powerful networks. All three of Myanmar's 4G providers averaged LTE download speeds greater than 28 Mbps, which is more than 11 Mbps faster than the global average, according to our measurements. The three operators were very close in this metric, though, drawing for our 4G download speed award.
Though we found no clear winner in 4G download speed, MPT separated itself from the pack in 4G upload. It averaged upstream connections of 13.7 Mbps, more than 2 Mbps faster than its competitors.
Telenor took our 3G and 4G latency awards, winning both categories by large margins. In 4G, we measured a ping time of 42.5 milliseconds on Telenor's network, and in 3G, we measured its latency at 71.2ms. Both scores are good indications that Telenor has built highly responsive networks.
Though Myanmar's operators are still expanding their 4G reach, in Yangon they've already managed to provide a high level of LTE access. MPT and Telenor had 4G availability scores in the former capital of 83.1% and 81.9% respectively, both of which were 10 percentage points higher than their national scores.
|Download Speed: 4G||Download Speed: 3G||Download Speed: Overall||Upload Speed: 4G||Latency: 4G||Latency: 3G||Availability: 4G|
This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by Opensignal users.
This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on 3G connections as measured by Opensignal users.
This metric shows the average download speed experienced by Opensignal users across all of an operator's 3G and 4G networks. Overall speed doesn't just factor in 3G and LTE speeds, but also the availability of each network technology. Operators with lower LTE availability tend to have lower overall speeds because their customers spend more time connected to slower 3G networks.
This metric shows the average upload speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by Opensignal users.
This metric shows the average latency for each operator on LTE connections as measured by Opensignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.
This metric shows the average latency for each operator on 3G connections as measured by Opensignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.
This metric shows the proportion of time Opensignal users have an LTE connection available to them on each operator’s network. It's a measure of how often users can access a 4G network rather than a measure of geographic or population coverage.
This chart shows the regional winners in each category Opensignal measures. Click on the icons to see a more detailed graph showing each operator’s metrics in a particular region.
|Region||Download Speed: 4G||Download Speed: 3G||Download Speed: Overall||Upload Speed: 4G||Latency: 4G||Latency: 3G||Availability: 4G|
In the first State of Mobile Networks report for Myanmar, OpenSignal parsed more than 80 million measurements collected from 9,085 smart devices in the 1st quarter of 2018. We analyzed that data to compare the 3G and 4G experience offered by Malaysia's three main operators on the national level and in Yangon. As this report is published, two new operators are emerging in Myanmar: Viettel-backed MyTel and Amara Communications' Ananda. However, MyTel launched its 4G-only service in March, at the end of the test period covered by this report. Meanwhile Ananda's service hasn't yet gone live, so neither operator is included in this report.
Myanmar's operators have come out of the gate with very fast 4G services. Our tests show that all three operators averaged LTE download speeds greater than 28 Mbps, which is more than 11 Mbps faster than the global 4G average of 16.9 Mbps, as measured in our last State of LTE report. Ultimately MPT, Ooreddoo and Telenor's results were so close that the three were in a statistical draw for our 4G speed award. But if they continue to improve they all could soon pass the 30 Mbps threshold for LTE speed, putting them in an elite class of global 4G operators.
While the 4G download contest may have been close, MPT emerged as the clear winner in our 4G upload metric, averaging speeds of 13.7 Mbps. Ooredoo and Telenor battled for second place with average tested upload speeds of 11 Mbps each. In 3G download speed, however, Telenor landed at the top of our rankings with a typical HSPA connection of 7.3 Mbps. In our final speed metric, overall download speed, we recorded another three-way draw. All three operators came in just above or below 15 Mbps mark when we measured the aggregate connection speeds across their 3G and 4G networks.
In another indication of just how closely matched Myanmar's operators are, we recorded a third three-way tie in our 4G availability category. Our users on all three networks were able to find an LTE signal more than 68% of the time. 4G availability is a good indication of just how far along an operator has progressed in its LTE rollout. While the availability scores we see in Myanmar aren't at a level we see in the more developed 4G countries in the world, they're impressive for a country that is only in the second year of its 4G lifecycle. There are many operators globally that have been at the LTE game twice as long that don't have the level of 4G accessibility we find among Myanmar's big three.
In our final set of metrics, we see one operator separating itself from the pack. Telenor won OpenSignal's 3G and 4G latency awards, in both cases by very large margins. Latency tracks a network's response time: lower latency connections mean web pages begin loading faster, video begins playing sooner and real-time communications apps experience less lag time. We measured latency on Telenor's 4G connections at 42.3 milliseconds, 25ms faster than its nearest rival MPT's score. In 3G latency, Telenor's response clocked in at 71.2ms, while both MPT and Ooredoo's latency scores were well over 100ms each.
When we drilled down into our Yangon data, we found the same close race for 4G speed in Myanmar's largest city as we did nationally. And just as they did across the country, Telenor swept our latency awards in Yangon while MPT won our 4G upload prize. Our national three-way tie in availability, however, narrowed to a two-way race in the former capital. MPT and Telenor were tied in this metric as both were able to supply an LTE connection to our users more than 81% of the time. LTE availability in Yangon was high for all three operators, showing that Myanmar's mobile industry has invested significantly in its largest economic and population center.
Outside of Yangon and beyond the country's borders, we see Myanmar bucking a trend we see throughout South and Southeast Asia. Most of Myanmar's neighbors — including India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia — have focused on increasing 4G's reach at the expense of LTE capacity. Consequently we see high levels of 4G availability throughout the region, but relatively slow speeds. Thailand and India exemplify that trend to the letter. Both ranked among the top 20 globally in 4G availability in our State of LTE report, but the pair also occupied the bottom five of that same report's 4G speed rankings. Myanmar, on the other hand, is performing well beyond its regional peers in 4G speed. And though its 4G networks are still young, the country has already achieved 4G availability levels similar to several of its neighbors. Myanmar may have been late to the 4G party, but it's more than made up for lost time.
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