Which telco provides the best underground 4G experience on the MRT?

Posted:  July 29, 2017   By:    20 comments   


KL MRT 4G Test Comparison

The 2nd phase of the MRT Line 1 is now open and this includes an underground section that goes through the heart of KL city. When Digi invited us for a 4G Underground MRT challenge earlier this week, we thought why not we test out 4 of our big telcos in Malaysia? So we did.

For consistency, we used the honor 8 Pro for all 4 telcos – Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile. The device supports carrier aggregation so it can maximise each network’s potential if it’s supported. We used prepaid SIMs from each telco with sufficient high-speed quota to ensure that there’s no throttling during the test.

For network speed measurement, we have used Ookla’s Speedtest with Telekom Malaysia as the fixed server on all devices. On top of that, we also ran OpenSignal’s TRUE Speedtest which claims to reflect real speeds you get on a network. According to OpenSignal, these tests measure full end to end connectivity to servers like Google, Amazon and Akamai which supposedly reflect real world usage.

The test route covers 7 underground stations namely Muzium Negara, Pasar Seni, Merdeka, Bukit Bintang, Tun Razak Exchange, Cochrane and Maluri. The Tun Razak Exchange MRT station at 45m under ground is the deepest on the network, followed by Bukit Bintang at 33.4m deep.

According to the folks at Digi, users underground are connected on the 2600MHz spectrum and Digi works closely with the MRT project’s technology partner for its underground coverage. We’ve spoken to U Mobile as well and it seems that all telcos are working with the same partner which provides the wireless infrastructure. The key difference probably lies on how each telco optimises its network and resources.

Celcom, DiGi, Hotlink, Maxis, Players on the Field, U Mobile
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20 Comments for Which telco provides the best underground 4G experience on the MRT?

Naomi Kembali

We all hate Maxis business practices/decisions… but when it comes to performance,
no TelCo can beat them (yet).


i believe those MRT have some signal booster for the telco. my Maxis MRT underground experience is better than yellowman LRT PJ to KLCC experience. or maybe its just yellowman


    Yellow man too big to fit in the tunnel.


    All MRT underground have same in-building coverage for all 4 big telco. They are sharing the same antennas. The different come after that, from equipments to uplink connections.


Maxis and celcom having 20mhz for 2600 spectrum…
hence they are easily honored to be the fastest (dl n ul respectively)

meanwhile digi latency is really bad if compare to others. hope digi staffs aware of this during ur test.


Can you do all the 6 Telco? Instead of 4?


    How to do all six telcos when the other two dont even have signal in the underground?


      I thought we only have 4 with infrastructure?


    Yeap, Alexandar Wong… that will be interesting….
    Any reason for not inlcuding?


    The other 2 cannot even have decent coverage above ground. Webe very dependen on celcom and yes is worst.


It is indeed very useful for the purpose if travelling especially when using GPS for a better signal.

Celcom customer since 90s

Celcom need to find out asap why their download speed is averaging 20mbps despite having 20mhz of bandwidth spectrum. And the weird thing is their upload is comparable with maxis upload, close to 50mbps. Something is wrong here with Celcom download speed.

    Musa Lakmal

    Because there a ton of 'small' telcos riding/sharing/leasing on their infra/network…
    So far i know XOX, BuzzMe, Webe all using Celcom network… there could be more.


      Tune talk, Redone


    celcom is like that 1 bro, they kind of speed limit you, but their network is one of the most stable 1, remember the old 3g days, play dota with their wireless broadband, ping 80-120 but no lag no spike very smooth, just very minor delay. while other telco can as low as 40-80ms but frequently spike/lag or even dc.


Are you sure? The other 2 small players are 4G TelCo also right?


I am using U, sucks big time recently….


Do you got the stats? I like to find out.


but most of our lrt/mrt is above ground anyway


Question, does the Honor 8 Pro support 4G+ (LTE-A) from Maxis?