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Malaysians rely on mobile data almost 70% of the time during MCO

As more countries impose self-quarantine or movement control order, home WiFi usage is expected to increase exponentially. This is not surprising as most people will continue to work and learn remotely from their respective homes. Opensignal has just published a report on how often a smartphone is connected to WiFi and it reveals some interesting trends around the world.

As shown below, most countries are seeing an increase in WiFi usage since the 16th of March 2020. This provides an indication of our smartphone network usage in Malaysia after the MCO was imposed on the 18th March 2020. The darker the shade of blue indicates the % of increase compared to the median value.

According to Opensignal, the average mobile user in Malaysia is connected to WiFi 30.5% of the time between 16 to 22 March, which is a 9.7% increase week on week. If you look at the Philippines, the jump is significant from 55.8% to 63.3%, which is a 13.44% increase week on week.

Malaysia WiFi usage

Among the 12 Asian countries listed in the Opensignal report, Malaysia has the 2nd lowest time on WiFi rate. This shows that the majority Malaysian mobile users are mostly connected to 4G and 3G data nearly 70% of the time.

One possibility is the lack of a reliable fixed home broadband solution. This isn’t surprising since fibre penetration is still low in the country. With 4G coverage having a greater reach and have better speeds than copper-based broadband like Streamyx, mobile data is seen as the ideal choice to stay connected. On top of that, most Malaysian telcos are offering free data daily during the MCO period.

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It is also worth pointing out that Taiwan, which has pretty good infrastructure also records a low average of 32.1% time on WiFi. In Taiwan, most of their operators are offering unlimited quota and they have one of the best mobile data experiences in the region on 4G LTE. In fact, time spent on WiFi in Taiwan even decreased on Week 12 compared to the median value.

What do you think of the report from Opensignal? Are you more connected on WiFi or do you still rely on your mobile data plan? Let us know in the comments below.

Alexander Wong