Speed Test: Maxis vs Celcom vs DiGi

I decided once and for all to check telco connection using speed test app. This may not be accurate but gives a fair idea between Maxis vs Celcom vs DiGi. To set it up, I downloaded the Android App: Internet Speed Test by V-Speed.eu version 1st August 2014 and installed it in my Acer Iconia A501 tablet and Samsung Note II mobile phone.

The telco SIM card package that I used for this test were the Maxis Surfmore 30 postpaid, Celcom XPAX 24 prepaid and DiGi Best Prepaid plans. Other than the information that they provided from their websites, there weren’t much info about their max data internet speed and how they cap and throttle your data connection when large amount of internet data was being shuffled about.

Celcom 3G signal coverage on Acer Iconia A501 screenshot

The downloads and uploads internet speed are also affected by your location, the building structure, peak / off-peak usage periods, the devices used. In my case, my Acer Iconia A501 with dual core CPU was already 2 years old compared to my Samsung Note II with quad core processing power and last years model. Older device has lesser processing power to digest the data and thus would get a slower connection due to latency.

To get good comparison data, I should use the same mobile and tablet device, but that would mean cutting the SIM card to micro SIM for Celcom and I was not prepared to do that. In addition, I have very limited data plan for my prepaids and thus have to limit the number of speed test checking. Anyway, this was just a general test and I would use the fiber optic Unifi broadband WiFi as a rough baseline. Between the two devices based on the Unifi WiFi connection, the difference weren’t that much.

So here are my results:

Testing location in office in Section 14, Petaling Jaya.
Date: 11/Sep/2014 Lunch Time

Unifi WiFi on Acer Iconia A501
Ping (ms): 591 – 482 – 540
Download (Mbps): 3.95 – 1.66 – 3.14 (max 4.00)
Upload (Mbps): 0.89 – 0.12 – 0.09

Unifi WiFi on Samsung Note II
Ping (ms): 539 – 473 – 540
Download (Mbps): 4.64 – 1.00 – 3.72 (max 5.80)
Upload (Mbps): 2.28 – 3.26 – 1.93



DiGi Best Prepaid on Acer Iconia A501
indication: H
Ping (ms): 407 – 454 – 415
Download (Mbps): 2.06 – 1.43 – 2.15 (max 2.20)
Upload (Mbps): 0.08 – 0.42 – 0.45

Maxis SurfMore 30 on Acer Iconia A501 & Samsung Note 2
indication: H+
Ping (ms): 451 – 470 -|- 514 – 500
Download (Mbps): 2.88 – 3.02 -|- 3.07 – 3.43 (max 4.00)
Upload (Mbps): 0.24 – 0.5 -|- 0.36 – 0.75

Celcom Xpax 24 on Acer Iconia A501
indication: H
Ping (ms): 849 – 399 – 395
Download (Mbps): 1.16 – 1.19 – 1.08 (max 1.28)
Upload (Mbps): 0.20 – 0.28 – 0.08

Testing location at home, top floor in Bandar Utama.
Date: 11/Sep/2014 Night Time

Unifi WiFi on Acer Iconia A501
Ping: 438 – 372 – 375
Download: 4.37 – 4.59 – 3.42
Upload: 1.65 – 2.60 – 2.65

Unifi WiFi on Samsung Note 2
Ping: 368 – 370 – 367
Download: 4.85 – 4.71 – 4.92
Upload: 1.14 – 2.49 – 2.16



DiGi Best Prepaid on Acer Iconia A501
Indicator: H
Ping (ms): 483 – 435 – 435
Download (Mbps): 1.17 – 0.89 – 0.67
Upload (Mbps): 0.40 – 0.26 – 0.47

Maxis Surfmore 30 on Samsung Note 2
Indicator: H+
Ping (ms): 577 – 519 -501 | 788 – 526 – 847
Download (Mbps): 1.40 – 1.01 – 1.46 | 0.97 – 0.25 – 0.38
Upload (Mbps): 0.06 – 0.39 – 0.41 | 0.05 – 0.16 – 0.06

Celcom Xpax 24 on Acer Iconia A501
Indicator: 3G/H
Ping (ms): 444 – 445 – 464 – 432
Download (Mbps): 1.28 – 0.92 – 1.02 – 1.17
Upload (Mbps): 0.29 – 0.05 – 0.48 – 0.26

The speed test result yield some interesting info. I do get very high speed connection from Maxis and DiGi in my office location, while Celcom was manageable at half the speed. I also noted down the burst speed just for some idea on the max download speed, though I didn’t record it down for my home location as the connection there was a tad too slow.

Thus ranking goes: Maxis > DiGi > Celcom.

My house location generally has very poor signal from all telcos being located at the fringe of their cell towers and the building has very hard structure blocking the signal even more. To get some good signal coverage I have to go to the top floor, front yard or backyard to make any calls or get any internet data connection. I wish they would set up some repeaters somewhere nearby but I doubt they would do that for cost effectiveness.

The surprising thing I never expected Maxis to fare so poorly that I have to repeat the test several more times. Though the Maxis connection status shows H+, the test result did not fare so well. Not sure whether Maxis is throttling the data connection, however I still do get manageable connection when not using my indoor WiFi.

Conclusion was: Celcom > DiGi > Maxis

Though this was the hard data based on 2 locations, if need more conclusive results, more locations will have to be obtained. Personally based on my everyday usage, I found Maxis to be generally much better overall. Perhaps they have better infrastructure, but of course we don’t really know how their engineering works.

The telco market is very competitive, with the big 3 namely Celcom vs Maxis vs DiGi, and the smaller telcos like U mobile and YTL YES (using WIMAX system) fighting in the market, each claiming to have better data connection, coverage and speeds. You only know how well the service is only after you have given it a try. In addition there are also those MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) such as XOX, Red One, TRON, TuneTalk, etc, which leverage on one of the big 3 telco for their infrasture, making the market very competitive indeed!

Anyway, choosing which telco sometimes depends on your preference, your usage locations and the packages that they offer that meets your budget and of course their standard of customer service level plays a role too.

[Update 15/9/2014]
Did another speed test in Desa Parkcity and in USJ 9 area when I went for Sunday Church, but tested only with Celcom and Maxis. Below are the results:

Desa ParkCity
.
Maxis on Samsung Note2
3G Speed: H+/H
ping (ms) 624 – 864 – 628 – 501
Download (Mbps) 0.29 – 2.79 – 2.08 – 5.02
Upload (Mbps) 0.08 – 0.09 – 0.00 – 0.14
.
Celcom Xpax on Acer Iconia
3G Speed: H
Ping (ms) 307 – 316 – 317
Download (Mbps) 1.27 – 1.33 – 1.05
Upload (Mbps) 0.31 – 0.31 – 0.29

USJ 9
.
Maxis on Samsung Note 2
3G Speed: H+
Ping (ms) 502 – 602 – 552
Download (Mbps) 2.96 – 1.95 – 2.19
Upload (Mbps) 0.20 – 0.22 – 0.07
.
Celcom Xpax on Acer
3G Speed: H
Ping (ms) 316 – 315 – 321
Download (Mbps) 0.89 – 0.87- 1.26
Upload (Mbps) 0.22 – 0.20 – 0.15

Despite the higher latency from Maxis, I still get 2 to 3 times faster download speed than Celcom. The higher latency from Maxis could also be the reason why some webpages don’t download immediately or why it takes sometime before the downloading starts. A browser or app refresh could help to latch on to a better hop path connecting port to get smoother download from Maxis.

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