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CFM: Mobile communication tips during flood in Malaysia

Following the heavy rains that has hit several areas in Malaysia such as Kuala Selangor, Johor Bahru and Perak recently, the Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) is sharing some tips for mobile users on how to face the flood situation.

Flood: Aerial view of Kuala Krai town, Kelantan

Flood: Aerial view of Kuala Krai town, Kelantan last year

Disruption of mobile service coverage happnes during natural disasters, and it happened in December 2014 during the flooding in Kelantan, the worst flood recorded in Malaysian history, according to Malaysia’s National Security Council (NSC). As a result of the coverage difficulties that occurred during that time, Service Providers (SPs) have taken effort to improve their communications infrastructures to ensure availability of access to the communications network during the crisis.

In the situation where consumers are unable to make phone calls or having difficulty sending messages, CFM is advising consumers to wait and try again after a short while.

According to CFM, the inability to connect may be due to a sudden rise in phone calls being placed causing line congestion which will affect service availability and ability to make calls and send messages.

In instances where users succeed in making calls or send messages, CFM would like to advise them to keep their phone conversation as short as possible, or even better to communicate using short message service (SMS) instead as SMS service consumes less bandwidth and therefore will not place a heavy load on the communications infrastructure in that area.

In addition, to further reduce network congestion, consumers are also advised to limit their online activities such as uploading photos, videos or sharing voice messages on social media and instant messaging services. These would also help free communications resources for the use of the emergency response and rescue services.

Further to this, in areas where there are power outages, consumers are advised to reduce their usage of mobile communications. This is to help consumers conserve the battery power of their devices until electricity is restored. Having fully charged back-up batteries or power banks are also highly recommended to ensure consumers are able to stay connected for much longer. Most telecommunication base stations depend on electric supply and power outages could disrupt telecommunication services.

If there are still difficulties in getting the latest updates in times of disaster, consumers can get the latest news and announcements through the radio. Those affected may also find out latest updates on what is happening from local emergency response services or RELA members.

CFM COMMUNICATION TIPS FOR CONSUMERS DURING FLOOD IN MALAYSIA
TIP 1 In the situation where consumers are unable to make phone calls or having difficulty sending messages, they are advised to wait and try again after a short while.
TIP 2 In instances where users succeed in making calls or send messages, CFM would like to advise them to keep their phone calls short or preferably communicate using text or short message service (SMS).
TIP 3 Consumers are advised to have adequate battery supply, to have fully charged back-up batteries or power banks are recommended.
TIP 4 Consumers who are suffered with power outages, they are advised to reduce their usage of mobile phone
TIP 5 Consumers are also advised to limit their online activities such as uploading photos, videos or sharing voice messages on social media and instant messaging services to avoid coverage congestion.
TIP 6 Consumers can get the latest news and announcements through radio. It has become a very important source of news during emergency, but they are advised to have an adequate battery supply and know the frequency of main radio stations at their respective areas.
TIP 7 Affected consumers may also find out latest updates on what is happening from local emergency response services or RELA members.
TIP 8 Remain calm and do not panic.
TIP 9 Be alert on the nearest contact numbers for Service Providers (SPs) as well as Emergency and Rescue team.

 

To address the complications faced by consumers during floods, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) together with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as well with all Telecommunications Service Providers (SPs) are working to provide temporary base communication stations towers at several affected areas as an additional support for enhancing the coverage during floods or natural disasters. However, priority will be given to places are in need of it the most, such as hospitals.

CFM, established and designated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), is tasked with, amongst others, to promote the growth of Malaysia’s communications and multimedia industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. CFM is also a channel for complaints redress on Communications and Multimedia services.

About Kugan

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