The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has published its 4th quarter JENDELA report. It highlights the progress of Malaysia’s 4G coverage and fiberisation improvement after the initiative was launched in late August last year. Across the board, operators have exceeded their Q3 2021 targets for new towers, upgrading existing sites, and increasing the number of fiberised premises.
Significant drop in complaints on 4G coverage issues
With the imminent shutdown of 3G networks, telcos have been focusing on improving their 4G coverage throughout the country. According to the latest report, there are a total of 32,485 complaints related to poor or no 4G coverage received in Q3 2021, which is a 34.2% drop from a total of 49,373 complaints received in Q2 2021. The MCMC has also received fewer complaints related to service disruption, poor 3G coverage and poor internet speeds in the last quarter.
The reduction of complaints can be seen with nearly all operators including Celcom, Digi, Maxis, U Mobile, Unifi Mobile and Unifi fixed broadband. Time records a slight increase with one extra complaint but it is still the lowest on the chart with just 50 complaints received in last quarter.
Among the top 50 locations, 80% of complaints were received from Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas. Seremban folks made the most complaints with 2,783 reports, followed by Johor Bahru with 1,755 complaints, Petaling with 1,506 complaints and Kuala Lumpur with 1,397 complaints. According to the MCMC, the complaints are due to the MCO as there’s an increased demand of bandwidth required for residential areas.
Fiberisation target hit 211% with 378,449 new premises connected in Q3 2021
In Q3 2021, a total of 378,449 premises were connected with fibre which far exceeds its Q3 target of 179,013 premises. This brings the total of new premises passed with fibre to 1,470,432 during JENDELA Phase 1. Meanwhile, there are 67 new mobile towers erected and 2,954 base stations upgraded to newer 4G technologies in the last quarter.
To recap, JENDELA Phase 1 aims to achieve 96.9% 4G coverage with an average 4G speed of 35Mbps and a total of 7.5 million premises passed with fibre access by the end of 2022. Malaysia’s 4G coverage is currently at 94.03% as of Q2 2021 and the report stated that the 4G coverage data for Q3 2021 will be available in November 2021. Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin recently claimed that Malaysia’s 4G coverage has reached 96%. Quoting Ookla’s Global Speed Test Index, Malaysia’s average mobile speed as of 30th September is 31.34Mbps.
According to Ookla, Malaysia’s average mobile speed as of August 2021 is 29.14Mbps and we are ranked #89 worldwide. The global average is 56.74Mbps and Malaysia is behind Singapore at #18 (91.75Mbps), Brunei (61.85Mbps) at #36, Thailand (49.37Mbps) at #50, Vietnam (41.16Mbps) at #57, Philippines (33.77Mbps) at #73 and Laos (32.04Mbps) at #82.
3G sunset on track for 31 December 2021
With less than 3 months to go before Malaysia switches off 3G networks, a total of 1,203,066 3G customers have been migrated, which is slightly above its Q3 target of 1,159,218 users. Based on these figures, there are still 894,055 users who are on 3G. To date, 78,613 3G carriers have been switched off, which is slightly below its target of 82,438 3G carriers.
Out of 2,097,121 identified 3G users, MCMC aims to convert 1,616,318 (77.07%) users to 4G by the end of this year. It added that the remaining 23% of 3G users are still able to stay connected via 2G after the 3G sunset and the migration will still continue in 2022.
At the moment, there are several initiatives to get more people to switch to newer 4G phones with VoLTE. This includes the Jaringan Prihatin Programme and the recently announced Pakej Peranti Keluarga Malaysia. In addition to migrating users to newer phones, telcos would also need to inform their customers to switch to a newer SIM as there are users with 4G devices in 4G coverage areas who are still stuck on 3G. After 3G is turned off, telcos can reuse the bulk of their 900MHz and 2100MHz spectrum to improve 4G coverage.
You can check out the Jendela Q4 2021 full report on the official website.