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Free 1GB Internet during Lockdown, Telcos Invest up to RM1 Billion

Customers of four mobile Telecom providers in Malaysia will enjoy 1GB free Internet daily starting today until 14 April 2020. Malaysia Telecommunication service providers have come together to mobilised their dedicated teams to work around the clock to ensure network and connectivity service levels are maintained during the movement control order (MCO).

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Industry Telecom operators Celcom Axiata Berhad, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Berhad, U Mobile Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), and TIME dotcom Berhad have jointly issued a statement to invest up to RM1 billion to ensure consumers stay connected and supported during these unprecedented times.

1GB Free Internet for postpaid and prepaid customers of Maxis, Celcom, Digi and U Mobile, worth more than RM600 million:

  • All Postpaid and Prepaid customers of Celcom, Digi, Maxis, and U Mobile will receive 1GB free Internet (high speed) per day, to be used between 8am and 6pm. This 1GB free Internet will begin by 1 April 2020 and will be in effect throughout the duration of MCO. Celcom and U Mobile have auto credited the 1GB free Internet data to customers on a daily basis, no activation or redemption required. Digi customers will have to redeem the free 1GB via the MyDigi app, a one time process. Maxis customers will have to redeem the 1GB free Internet pass on a daily basis.
  • TM and TIME said they are supporting the mobile operators by providing additional fibre capacity to serve higher traffic demands via the mobile networks.
  • The industry is also working on ways of easing the burden of the B40 segment during this period and will announce plans around this aspiration in due course, following discussions with the relevant authorities on the best mechanisms to support this segment.
  • Additionally, all operators are also offering specific packages and assistance for their customers. Customers may refer to their respective Telcos for more information.

TIME Fibre Home Broadband subscribers will enjoy 500 minutes of free voice calls to local fixed and mobile numbers during the Movement Control Order period, no redemption required.

Additional RM400 million network investment to support increased demand and provide continued network availability & capacity:

  • The industry assures customers that its first priority is to maintain the high availability and quality of telecommunications networks to ensure connectivity remains accessible for all. All operators said it will continue to invest where needed, and have teams working 24/7 during this MCO period to maintain sites, upgrade capacity, and improve coverage. This is to ensure the network is resilient in anticipation of heavier traffic from people staying and working from home. Operators continue to work closely with the authorities to enable it to carry out rectification and upgrades required to ensure service network availability is not compromised during this period.
  • With Malaysians spending more time working and learning from home, operators continue to see increased demand from higher utilisation of usual lifestyle applications and also new mobility applications, as well as the shift in areas of high utilisation as the population largely moves from central business districts to residential areas.
  • To cater for this increased demand and to ensure uninterrupted connectivity for all, service providers have put in additional investments on top of original plans to upgrade the network capacity. Additionally, traffic management and re-prioritisation activities are also conducted to optimise user experience, prioritising essential applications and services and ensuring productivity for the business community by enabling work from home.
  • Additional investment has also been put to enhance the network coverage and capacity for critical sites such as hospitals, government and enforcement agencies, and media centers around the country.

Up to 12,000 front liners and engineers working 24×7 in multiple shifts:

  • All call centers and social media support teams remain in operation throughout this period. In support of MCO, all digital and online channels are also available for consumers.
  • Front liners such as call centre agents, social media agents, network and IT operations, and all related ecosystem partners and vendors continue to support the day-to-day operations, on site rectifications as well as the additional activities as a result of managing the increased demand.

Free calls to important hotline and emergency numbers including additional coverage for critical sites:

  • All six Telecom operators have zero rated (free) calls to important hotline and emergency numbers, including the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Crisis Preparedness Response Centre (CPRC), MOH state branches, identified Covid-19 screening and admitting hospitals, the MCO hotline, and MOH’s official website.
  • To ensure Malaysians are well informed with vital information on Covid-19, operators are working with authorities to disseminate health, emergency, and public interest announcements via daily SMS broadcasts to its customers.

The second phase of the movement control order (MCO), a lockdown that limits the movement of Malaysians within a 10km radius from their home is aimed to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus (coronavirus). The MCO is expected to end on April 14. As of today, there are 2908 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Malaysia with 2218 in treatment, 645 discharged and 45 deaths.

About Kugan

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