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Reader’s Letter: DiGi has no coverage inside Istana Budaya

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Letter from Allan:(DiGi Responded Below)

I went to “Istana Budaya Kuala Lumpur” yesterday night for a Musical KITA performance:


But what make me disappointed is, DiGi (Always the smarter choice) has no coverage at all when inside the hall. I tried to change the network from “dual mode” to “UMTS” and to “GSM”, but it is no joy. I also tried to make a manual network search, but I only found Maxis and Celcom.

Seriously speaking, this is not an unknown place, is our KL culture hall and lots of VIPs present yesterday night. When the show ended, I also heard many people saying that their DiGi line also have no coverage and even there are people throwing out some bad words.I am a long time supporter of DiGi, and have never think off to migrate to another operator, but yesterday incident really disappointed me. i have an urgent sms/e-mail to send out, but I am not able to do so.

So, DiGi, what can you say?


Response from DiGi:

Based on our investigation, the building management of Istana Budaya has installed signal jammers at every floor of their building to disrupt all network signals, not just DiGi. This is to prevent any disturbances from the audience’s mobile phones during performances. Apparently, mobile phone usage in the auditorium is strictly prohibited.

Anyone found using a phone during a show will be flashed with laser lights by the security guards to remind them of this. When a show is on, all signal jammers will be switched on to disrupt as much as possible all incoming network signals into the auditorium and the connecting corridors leading to the auditorium. If anyone needs to make a call, they can do so at the lobby area, where there is coverage.

Hope this clarifies the situation.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy
  • xilas

    i went istana budaya before…beside digi, maxis and celcom too….

  • Anthony Yap

    Many Countries’ do install signal interference device in Cinemas and Theaters, I dont see TelCo need service in these area. If you need make calls or sms, please go outside, we should respect others

    • Just a scenario:

      Say Istana Budaya was taken hostage, how do you contact the outside world?

      I agree with you that people should take/make calls outside the hall, this is an attitude issue. I also agree with the interference issue. But at least, there should be some/weak mobile coverage. Mobile phone is more than just making calls today.

  • Levinx

    isn’t it the”no signal” inside Istana Budaya is jamming features by istana Budaya itself? I knew u can browse the networks and found Maxis & Celcom, but u cant attach to it either when u r Maxis or Celcom users… This is a jamming features by Istana budaya to ensure no interruption of phone calls inside the hall.. but no jamming just outside of the perfoming hall…. hv this reader alan check before frus?

    • Signal jamming is illegal in this country, unless MCMC gives special authorisation .

  • Levinx

    i tho this is a knew “feature”. everyone knew Istana Budaya jam the signal.. why Alan so frus? first time go to istana budaya?

  • ikanez

    istana budaya is a place where NO network coverage SHOULD be allowed. period.

    why you didn’t realize that in the first place is beyond me.

  • Allan

    @Levinx and ikanez:
    Perhaps I myself do not realize that in Istana Budaya network signal will be blocked, but as my experience last night, not all network has no coverage, only DiGi.

    I having 3 cellphone, 1 DiGi, 1 Maxis and another 1 is Philippines “Globe” roaming number and usually it was roam with Maxis, but in Istana Budaya it is roam with Celcom. But unfortunately, my unlimited internet was connected with DiGi, Maxis and the roaming number is working fine. I still can make call and send/receive SMS with the Maxis and Celcom network.

    • DiGi said they will try to respond by today..

      • Allan

        @Kugan: Any respond from DiGi?

        • yes, I’ve just updated the post above..

  • Vincent9300


    I last read an article about jamming device used by Istana Budaya on GSM signals. It will jam all GSM signals… but I am not sure of WCDMA 3G singal … maybe u can use the weak 3G signal from nearby Basestation located outside of the premise.


    I am sure if got hostage, the device can be turn off as the bad guy also need to contact his gang outside right? Maybe u think too much…or u just watched Die Hard?

    • Thanks for your concern…

  • Signal jamming is illegal in this country, if they can do that, I can as well bring one of the mobile jammers around me since i dont like people kacao me with all those justin bieber’s stupid ringtone

    • Suresh


  • Nazri

    I think indoor coverage is DiGi biggest weakness. There’s no coverage inside the Dewan Rakyat, Parlimen Malaysia. But full coverage for both Celcom and Maxis in there.

  • back to back … Orang Putih punya company loooo …

    well some building is SIGN contract with only C and M and eventually “Prevent” D to get in …

    yah i do agree that Digi need invest futhere more into indoor coverage. try to get those indoor coverage.

    well i hope our “PBT” pihak berkuasa tempatan or G…V it self can be more open and give Digi more chance …

    from my point of view Mobile Coverage Should go EQUAL regardless wat network u choose …

  • eksk

    guess malaysian phone etiquette is so “good” that istana budaya has to resort to using signal jammers…. this is reflects more on malaysian attitude towards handphone etiqutte than a telco coverage…. illegal or not, you have to ask, why the steps to take this drastic action? is every call today you receive is so important?

    personally i wish there were more signal jammers in cinemas…

    • Mmb

      I had the same experience in MPO. They really jam the signal 🙁

    • Allan

      hi, I indeed agreed with you that not all calls we received today is important, but however, do you ever know that today cellphones is not just to make/receive calls???

      as again i want to mention, that night, i would like to send an e-mail and SMS to the outside world. i don’t mean to make nor answering calls, all my phones was in silent mode.

      • Vincent9300

        I hate people who still live under influence of handphone.. even one minute in his life without communication, he will die… feel desperate… what sending sms so important than going in to appreciate the performance… it’s suck! Even the bright screen of yr phone will disturb other audience.. don’t u care, Mr Allan?

        • Allan

          no point to argue with you because you are not at my position and you just comment according to your feeling. You never understand that different people may have different purpose. Just like I love to eat Mcdonalds and you perhaps love to eat KFC, so all people have different purpose.

          If all these light is a disturb as you mention, so why they allow reporters with those high tech camera. So do you think camera doesn’t use flash light??? and it is not disturb to other people???

      • eksk

        wow.. even better.. sending email.. that most take time to draft and compose.. pretty important stuff to do if you ask me… tell me again why were you in and entertainment area? call me old fashion and left out in the digital world.. but there is a time and place for work and for entertainment

  • Allan

    first of all, Thanks for the quick respond, i appreciated it very much.
    secondly, I apologize that I’ve blamed DiGi for the no network issue.

    But it is indeed a nightmare for me that night. That was my very first time to Istana Budaya and I’ve perches the most expensive ticket for the show. But what i received as return is, I am locked in a place without any network coverage for 5 hours.

    Yes, perhaps for some of you without network access for 5 hours is just nothing, but it is not the same for me.

    @Istana Budaya (hope there are people from the management reading this):
    I think I will never go to watch any presentation in Istana Budaya anymore.

  • Charles

    While Istana Budaya may have installed jammers, I was rather surprised to see my Celcom GSM line go dead on my dual mode phone in the auditorium of the MCMC headquarters and even in the lobby, while Maxis and my Celcom 3G line were still alive.

    Now that’s not a great advertisement for a company which claims the “widest nationwide coverage.”

  • nia

    heck, even without signal jammers, i almost always have problem with digi’s coverage in a building in KL, be it in a shopping mall or in the office.