The 2018 Mobile Review for Singapore

For the first time, the network benchmarking expert P3 and ­connect ­magazine have tested the mobile networks in the city-state of Singapore. We have conducted a drivetest as well as a crowd based analysis over six months resulting in the following comprehensive Mobile Review.

Thanks to strict regulatory requirements, the network quality of all ­Singapore operators is very high.
This makes it very intersting to compare their performance with that of other leading world capitals. Also, we have taken a detailed look into the performance of each Singapore operator.

RESULTS IN A NUTSHELL

The Singapore market is known for its high network quality. Thus, it is not surprising that the three operators considered in this review rank closely. And still, our holistic network ­testing approach, comprised of  a data-centric drivetest and sophisticated crowdsourcing ­analyses,  reveals specific strenghts of each operator.

As this Mobile Review for the networks in Singapore does not use the full ­methodology of our regular Network Benchmarks, we abstained from ranking or ­grading the operators. ­

However, the ­results of our data-centric ­drivetest and crowdsourcing ­analysis ­provides a good indica­tion of their achieve­ments. The drivetest result shows the maximum performance of the networks, where­as the crowd evaluation reflects the actual user experience.

The drivetest results confirm that all three Singapore opera­tors ­deliver a high level of data per­formance and rank closely.

How­ever, in our drivetest, Singtel shows a slight ­advantage over its competitors.  In the detailed ­analysis, each ­operator demonstrates ­specific strenghts: M1 is ahead in the web browsing tests and also takes a narrow lead in the file uploads. Singtel provides the ­fastest file downloads, while StarHub scores best in the ­YouTube measurements.

The extensive crowdsourcing analysis, based on 344 ­million samples collected in two consecutive 3-month-periods from April to June and July to September 2018, overall validates ­these findings. The results show the high performance level of all three networks. The quality of 4G ­coverage was a little lower in the first ­evaluation period. Singtel and StarHub improved regarding this KPI in the ­second period, only M1 fell a ­little behind.

On the other hand, the average data rates dropped in all networks in the ­second observation period. In some of the KPIs, M1 showed a slight ­advantage. The ­examination of the Data Service Availability showed minor degradations in the StarHub network in March and in the M1 network in September.

HOW DOES SINGAPORE COMPARE TO OTHER WORLD CAPITALS?

As a successful business capital, Singapore is competing with metropolitan areas on a global scale. Therefore we have compared our crowdsourced throughput results gathered in Singapore with those achieved in Berlin, Cape Town, Jakarta, London and Sydney.

A look at the average values of the best throughputs achieved by each individual user participating in our crowdsourcing (see chart below) shows that the Singapore operators deliver considerably high performance also when compared to their global competitors.

HIGHEST OBSERVED DATA RATES IN SINGAPORE AND SYDNEY

M1, StarHub and Singtel provide high data rates to their customers, which in this comparison are only matched by the performances of the Australian operators Telstra, Optus and Vodafone in Sydney.

In London, only EE achieves similar results, while the other British operators as well as the mobile networks in Berlin, Cape Town and Jakarta overall deliver slower data rates. When looking at the P90 value (the threshold below which 90 per cent of the gathered values are ranging – see also the description of our methodology), Sydney even shows slightly better overall results than Singapore.

However, when evaluating the actual values, it must be taken into account that areas such as Singapore are densely covered with buildings, whereas cities like Berlin or London contain a higher share of open spaces such as parks or fringe areas, which are provided with less mobile coverage and also comprise of less mobile users.

Furthermore, in order to ­ensure statistical relevance, we had to exclude Jakarta‘s smallest operator Smartfren from this comparison.

The analysis at hand concentrates on data throughputs. But an additional look at the Areas and Quality of Coverage with 4G ­services, 3G/2G data services as well as voice services in the considered cities also shows favour­able results for Singapore and ­Sydney – how­ever, some com­petitors such as London or ­Jakarta come close in one or the other of the analysed metrics. Deeper insights can be made avail­able to inter­ested parties on request.