Kingdom excels in 4G access, but lags in speed

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Metfone SIM cards at a shop in Phnom Penh. post pix

The Kingdom’s 4G market is a regional leader in terms of user access, but languishes in the bottom 10 globally for download speeds, according to OpenSignal’s Cambodia Mobile Network Experience Report August 2019, published this week.

The report stated that when it comes to 4G, Cambodia appears to be living by the same mantra as its Southeast Asian peers – availability supersedes speed.

 

“It doesn’t matter how fast your 4G network is if you can’t find a 4G signal,” the report said. “Cambodia has a higher level of 4G access than several European countries, and while its individual 4G connection speeds may suffer, those connections are at least available the vast majority of the time.”

Smart Axiata remains the only operator able to provide users with a 4G signal more than 80 per cent of the time, while Cellcard and Metfone are showing improvement in access to 4G connections, according to the report.

“Both operators [Cellcard and Metfone] saw their 4G availability scores increase by nearly 3 percentage points in the last six months, allowing them to close the gap with Smart.

“Since our last report, Smart has gained ground in our Download Speed Experience category while Cellcard’s overall download speeds dropped in our measurements,” the reported stated.

The result was a statistical draw for the report’s Download Speed Experience award. Both however, were more than twice as fast as third-placed Metfone.

Cellcard held onto OpenSignal’s Upload Speed Experience award in the report, increasing its score by 37 per cent to 3.3 Mbps, but Smart made significant gains. Smart users saw their average overall upload speeds increase by 39 per cent.

 

‘Well below 10 Mbps’

Capturing over 3 billion individual measurements every day from over 100 million smart phones globally, OpenSignal independently analyses mobile user experience on every major network operator around the globe.

The Download Speed Experience scores of Cambodian operators were all well below 10 Mbps, with the Kingdom ranking near the bottom of global rankings in overall speed.

“That doesn’t mean Cambodia is neglecting its 4G rollout. Like many of its Southeast Asian peers, Cambodia seems to have focused its 4G efforts on expanding access to mobile broadband connections, rather than on raw throughput,” the report explained.

It continued that in terms of global analysis, Cambodia as a whole has achieved higher 4G availability than many European countries.

South Korea was the only country to score over 50 Mbps in Download Speed Experience, with the majority of countries scoring in the 10-20 Mbps range across users.

OpenSignal is a UK-based mobile analytics company committed to improving mobile connectivity across the globe, and has named itself as the independent authority for understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.