[ UPDATE 23/12/2021 16:00 ] Digi is postponing the 3G network shutdown in several states until Jan 2022 due to floods.
Digi is powering down its 3G network by phases ahead of Malaysia’s 3G shutdown by the end of this year. Existing Digi users on older 3G devices are reminded to switch to newer 4G LTE devices with Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to enjoy an optimal mobile experience.
Digi 3G shutdown schedule
According to the schedule, Digi will begin its 3G shutdown in eastern states in Peninsular Malaysia such as Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu on the 6th of December 2021. This is followed by Sabah on 13th December and southern states such as Johor, Melaka and Negeri Sembilan on 16th December. The 3G shutdown continues for the Northern states such as Kedah, Perak, Perlis and Penang on the 20th December, before proceeding to the Klang Valley (Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) on 22nd December 2021. Sarawak will be the last state under the 3G shutdown exercise on the 30th December 2021.
The 3G shutdown is part of the JENDELA initiative which was announced in August last year. The exercise will allow telcos to reuse the 3G spectrum to improve their 4G LTE services. Under the JENDELA, Malaysia aims to achieve 96.9% 4G population coverage with an average speed of 35Mbps. According to the last JENDELA report, the 4G coverage stands at 94.03% while the average 4G speed is 31.34Mbps.
Digi CTO Kesavan Sivabalan said: “Our priority remains in ensuring high availability and consistency of our 4G network services, and to do so effectively, it is necessary that we retire the 3G network, freeing up crucial spectrum and resources that would now be channelled towards increasing capacity of the 4G network to support higher usage.”
Users with 3G devices can still stay connected to 2G after the 3G shutdown. While 2G is sufficient for basic voice calls and SMS, it is barely usable for internet services in this day and age.
How to check if your phone and SIM is 4G ready?
Digi customers who are unsure if their phones are 4G ready can send an SMS “4G” to 28282. They can also check if their phones support VoLTE by referring to this list. Opensignal had reported in July that a significant number of users in Malaysia are only connected to 3G despite using 4G capable phones. This is likely due to users who are still using their old SIM cards. If you can’t use 4G on your new phone, you can check if your SIM is 4G-ready by sending an SMS “LTE” to 20000.