Monday, March 27, 2023

Two Telcos to be fined by MCMC? [Comment]

In a recent report on The Star, deputy news editor BK. Sidhu wrote that the Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will act against telcos failing to improve services, quoting anonymous sources close to MCMC.

Some quotes from that article:

The players were given six months to improve their services but have failed to live up to it with rampant dropped calls a clear indication that they may be more concerned with getting customers on their network instead of expanding their network on a timely basis to cater to the additional growth, according to sources.

They added that at least two cellular companies were the culprits where consumers faced dropped calls on a daily basis and that this had been going on for some time, though there were some months when rate of dropped calls had reduced.

“Imagine a situation where you are hardly able to hear what your friend is talking over the phone or the phone gets cut off when you are saying something important. This points to low quality service despite customers paying high monthly bills,” said a source.

Those in the know claim that the regulator is in the final stages of preparing the documents to slap the fines on these errant telecoms players.

“It is about time the regulator take stern action and impose big fines so that the players give more attention to the consumer’s interest instead of being engrossed in getting new customers. We understand they have to grow but they must also at the same time expand their networks and improve quality,” the source added.


Poor mobile services in this country is not a new issue and as far I remember, its never been resolved. Go visit any of the Telco’s Facebook page and you would see complaints related to network. It is also not the first time that MCMC/SKMM is complaining or talking about poor Telco services.

I’m guessing that one of the Telco in the list could be DiGi. As a DiGi user myself, the issues I faced for the past 3 years include drop calls, poor mobile coverage in key areas within KL, slow Internet speeds, among others. DiGi claims to have about 10 million customers and obviously I’m not the only one complaining here.

Its hard to guess the second Telco here but it could be Celcom or Maxis. One of my source indicated that Celcom Axiata is working closely with MCMC to resolve the drop call issues and poor coverage at small number of areas. Unfortunately, some of these areas are not exactly “public areas”.

Maxis is also the target of MCMC. With over 13 million customers onboard including voice, Internet and fibre, the operator has one of the most congested network in Malaysia. I’m not accusing Maxis here but based on my own observation in the public space, the operator may have more complaints related to drop calls compared to Celcom Axiata. On the bright side, Maxis is really investing on its network to improve service experience.

As for U Mobile, the operator is depending on Maxis for the network coverage and the quality of service.

However, personally, I’m more interested in seeing some action from MCMC rather than hearing them saying that they intend to take action. If the regulator has sent out notice and say it would take action, then it should get to work once the deadline is over, no more talking. Afterall, MCMC/SKMM has to work in the best interest of Malaysians, not the Telcos. But is that happening right now?

I’m still getting drop calls.

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

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