Malaysia was supposed to shut down all 3G networks by the end of 2021 but it turns out that some 3G sites are still operational. This was revealed during the recent JENDELA update for the final quarter of 2021.
As shared by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), 80% of the total 253,860 3G carriers have shut down, which leaves 50,486 3G carriers still operational. This explains why you could still get 3G reception in certain areas without stable 4G coverage. According to the MCMC, the delay to shut down the remaining 3G sites was due to flood and monsoon season, and the complete shutdown is targeted to be completed by 31st March 2022. The spectrum utilised for 3G can be repurposed to improve 4G coverage and capacity.
Users are encouraged to switch to newer 4G devices as they will be able to enjoy faster mobile data speeds and higher-quality voice calls via VoLTE (Voice over LTE). 3G users can still use their existing phones after the 3G shutdown but their devices will connect to the slower 2G connection, which can be used for basic voice calls and SMS.
In 2021 alone, a total of 13,807 base stations have been upgraded with newer 4G technology while 250 new 4G towers have been erected nationwide. The MCMC has acknowledged that there are user complaints on coverage following the 3G shutdown and they are working closely with the telcos to address them. To solve your coverage issues quickly, MCMC is encouraging users to report via the JENDELA Map. Once a report is received, it will be escalated to the respective telcos for immediate action.
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