Faster speeds do not translate into a better video experience in Malaysia

  • Some mobile networks provide a better video experience than their download speeds suggest
  • Maxis provided the best Video Experience in both the SD and HD categories

 

Faster speeds do not translate into a better video experience in Malaysia

 

OPENSIGNAL, the independent global standard for measuring real-world mobile network experience, has just released the results of a deep-dive analysis into the typical video experience of Malaysian mobile users, given that video streaming is the largest category of traffic carried on mobile networks in Malaysia, and this consumption will grow dramatically to keep pace with consumer demand and a growing user base.

The research covered three-month periods, between Sept 1, 2018 and May 31 2019, during which millions of measurements where gathered automatically from Malaysian users of the Opensignal app across the Celcom, DiGi, Maxis, U Mobile and Unifi networks.

“Video is important because it depends on a number of elements, including the availability of 4G connections, network latency, consistency of connections and well as the individual data management policies of operators. This is why it is necessary to measure video quality directly and not estimate it purely based on download speed tests,” said Opensignal chief executive officer Brendan Gill.

Opensignal’s video experience metric measures exactly what consumers are experiencing when they watch videos. Built on an International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based approach for measuring video quality. It is derived from several underlying parameters based on real-world measurements of video streams from the world’s largest video content providers calculation takes picture quality, video loading time and stall rate into account and reports consumers’ experience on a scale of 0-100 where 75-100 is Excellent, 65-75 is Very Good, 55-65 is Good, 40-55 is Fair and 0-40 is poor.

Key findings of the insight show that:

  • All Malaysian mobile operators (with the exception of U Mobile) improved their Video Experience score over the periods measured.
  • Maxis provided the best Video Experience in both the Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) categories with a ‘Very Good’ rating across all measured periods. They were closely followed by both Celcom and DiGi who improved their scores across each period.
  • The Video Experience score for streaming HD video was slightly lower than the SD Video Experience scores for Celcom, Digi and Maxis users. However, users of the Unifi and U Mobile networks had a significantly reduced Video Experience when streaming HD video, both achieving ‘Poor’ ratings, although Unifi did improve its score - which almost doubled across the research period.  

“Download speed has been the focal point of the mobile industry ever since the first data networks came online nearly two decades ago. However, speed is just an abstract measurement, not an indication of how consumers actually experience the internet or applications on their mobile phones.

“This was emphasised by our research in Malaysia which demonstrated that while Maxis users did enjoy the best average download speeds and the best Video Experience, both Celcom and Digi users actually had a better Video Experience score than an estimate based purely on their download speed would suggest,” concluded Gill.

The full research can be viewed at the following URL:

https://www.opensignal.com/blog/2019/08/27/malaysia-case-study-why-fast-download-speed-is-not-equal-to-good-video-experience

 
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