7 June 2015

Singtel explains mobile performance

Singtel has shared key considerations of connectivity, speed and coverage to add insights to the Infocomm Development Authority's pilot MyConnection SG study.

"Based on the online feedback to this latest study, we note that many subscribers regard factors such as network coverage, call stability, customer service and data connectivity to be more significant than speed to their user experience. What is uppermost is their ability to enjoy wide mobile coverage with consistent speed. Such customer feedback and findings are important to Singtel as we identify areas where we can continue to improve our services," Singtel concluded in a backgrounder.

Source: IDA. These two charts from the MyConnection SG pilot study show how the three service providers stack up in terms of data download speeds and time-to-connect.


Singtel defines this as the response time to establish a connection to a server i.e. the time taken to connect back and forth with a network, also known as a ping. For most mobile users who surf the Internet, a difference of milliseconds is not noticeable, especially when connecting to local sites, Singtel explained.

"Connectivity is significant however for those playing online games usually hosted in overseas sites such as in the US. Milliseconds can and do determine if the gamer wins or loses against a competitor," the company said in the backgrounder.

In the MyConnection SG report, Singtel registered 50.9 milliseconds and 117.9 milliseconds in 4G and 3G response time respectively.


This refers to how fast material (e.g. a video) is downloaded, the telco said.

To arrive at typical speed numbers, MyConnection SG measured the lower, middle and upper limits of the download speed experienced by 80% of data sessions, averaged over six months. Singtel noted that from the median 50th percentile, Singtel registered the fastest average typical speed for 3G and 4G at 3.1Mbps and 17.4Mbps respectively.

Peak speed: MyConnection SG report measured the maximum download speed attained in at least 50% of the days covered in the pilot, averaged over six months. Singtel has the fastest peak speed of 38.1Mbps and 118.9Mbps for 3G and 4G respectively.

"It is important to note however that the average speed experienced per user can be affected by factors such as the number of concurrent users, which in turn influences speed consistency. That is why speed tests at a certain location on different times or days may result in different readings," Singtel noted, stressing that the company continuously invests in new technologies that deliver higher speed capabilities so that its subscribers have a fast mobile experience. One such implementation has resulted in 4G+ connectivity in about 150 buildings, including key shopping malls across Singapore.


In a separate report from IDA on 4G mobile service coverage for Q1 2015, Singtel had the widest nationwide outdoor 4G service coverage of 99.77%, the company noted, citing a quarterly study by IDA which tests coverage offered by the respective telecom operators while driving through key areas such as the Central Business District, HDB estates and major expressways and roads.

"IDA has stipulated that all telecom companies must meet a minimum criteria of 99% coverage by July 2016. Singtel has already achieved that as of Q1 of 2015," Singtel stated in the backgrounder, adding that it is the only operator with its own premium high-speed Wifi network.


Read the TechTrade Asia blog post on the MyConnection SG results.