Our Internet tour brings us today to a strategic location for mobile operators:
Yangon International Airport Terminal 1
Disclaimer: this exercise does not aim to be a detailed benchmark of the mobile operator’s performance but a sneak preview into the Yangonite always-connected daily life.
A quick reminder of the test protocol:
Speedtest.net: the most famous speed test worldwide.
This is an excellent tool for a quick assessment on the network performance. Every operator in Myanmar hosts a speedtest server. That means that testing the operator against its own server results in testing its radio / transmission and core network, leaving the international IP transit aside.
Fast.com: Netflix speedtest
Netflix streaming service is available worldwide including Myanmar. The American entertainment company recently released a speed test against its own servers to help customers evaluating their ISP performance. As quality of experience is key for Netflix, this test will definitely be a good hint on the customer experience journey.
Our Home made tool: IiM v1.1
As we were unable to find a tool really fulfilling our needs, we decided to build one. The objective is to evaluate how long a customer would need to load a bunch of popular websites.
To tailor our test to the local customer experience, we picked the most popular sites in Myanmar according to Alexa.
This is the list:
We developed a small script that will load each site one by one and output the loading time.
Combined these different tests and the results will certainly be close to the real customer experience.
A weekend getaway abroad
Yangon Airport offers a wide range of affordable locations for a quick trip abroad. It is surprisingly cheaper to flight to Bangkok for a weekend than to any domestic destination in Myanmar. The new international terminal opened a few months ago but a couple of airlines are still using the old terminal. Before testing the mobile data performance in this new terminal, we decided to have a close look at the old one which is still used by thousands of travelers every day.
Airports are key locations for mobile operators for multiple reasons. They represent a unique opportunity to catch new customers as soon as they land into the country. This is the reason why Telenor just released a tourist sim card. Airports are also large waiting areas which drive data usage and revenue.
Ready for boarding…
A quick reminder of the forces in presence:
- Ooredoo 4G
- Telenor 3G
- MPT 4G
So lets start with the usual Speedtest.net:
As we can see, the mobile operators are really paying attention to this particular location and the results are overall very good.
MPT 4G delivers the best results so far with a special mention on the uplink. Telenor demonstrates good download capabilities but upload is weak. As for Ooredoo, the Qatar based operator delivers the best latency of this benchmark but speedtest is disappointing.
Fast.com results ends up very similar for each operator. Performance is satisfactory and streaming experience should be spotless even in HD.
Our homemade tool: IiM v1.1
Note : only 8 websites were benchmarked in this chapter as we were running out of time.
Every operator is loading the webpages in a timely manner. The results are excellent especially on low-latency websites (contents delivered locally through CDN or caching technique).
Yahoo.com is always a tough one considering its size and the number of files to load. Telenor and MPT managed to completely load the site in respectively 21s and 17s which is excellent. Ooredoo struggled with this one and closed it in 47s.
Adding up all the results, MPT is once again the winner. The public operator loaded all the sites in 30s, Telenor made it in 40s and Ooredoo, 63s.
From a technology perspective, the match between 3G and 4G is again too close. In term of latency, Ooredoo is excellent but throughput performance is disappointing. Telenor 3G outperforms Ooredoo 4G in every speed test.
MPT did a good job with its indoor 4G solution and is once again the winner of this chapter.
Stay tuned for the next episode on our Yangon Internet tour!
Herbert is a nom de plume.
I am an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar.