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MCO: Digi Customers Demand for Consistent Mobile Network Connectivity

Since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced in Malaysia on the 18 of March 2020 to combat the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus), Digi saw a shift in customer behaviour and usage patterns with higher demand for consistent mobile network connectivity.

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In its first quarter financial results presentation, the Telco revealed among the shift in customer behaviour and traffic include:

  • Geographical shift mainly from urban business areas to residential areas
  • Increase in utilisation of Internet quota
  • Resource demand for video and gaming applications more than doubled e.g. YouTube, Netflix

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Digi observed higher Internet consumption during the MCO period, up to 29% higher compared to Pre-MCO, with peak Internet usage in the network starting around 10am until 3am the following day. Similarly, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) saw 23.5% higher Internet traffic (fixed and mobile broadband) nationwide during the first week of the MCO, while the second week of the MCO saw a further increase of 8.6%.

From January to March 2020, some 11.01 million Digi mobile subscribers consumed an average 14.5GB Internet every month. There are 9.19 million Internet subscribers as of March 2020, including 8.8 million connected to the Digi 4G LTE network.

Last month, Digi said it has a dedicated network and IT team working around-the-clock to maintain network and connectivity service levels. During the first quarter this year, Digi spent up to RM139 million on network capacity upgrades and fibre network expansion to deliver consistent quality data connectivity amid rising data demand.

Among its network management initiatives during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period include:

  • Prioritised traffic management and optimisation to cater to rising traffic demand at residential areas and critical sites
  • Quality of service prioritisation for mission critical services and essential services at specific time periods
  • Collaboration with application providers to reduce resource intensity for services, such global bit rate adjustment and default resolution setting with Netflix, YouTube

Following these initiatives, Digi said the outcome include:

  • Most consistent 4G network on download speeds, with minimal degradation of service quality
  • Current download speeds adequate to support customer needs and experience across commonly used applications

Other initiatives by Digi during MCO include:

  • Additional network coverage and capacity at critical locations and sites
  • Zero-rated access to critical service hotlines and trusted websites that provide COVID-19 information
  • Keeping customer channels such as retail stores and customers service support accessible
  • Free daily 1GB high-speed internet for prepaid and postpaid & broadband
  • Free access to and special offers for education platforms such as Jomstudi through EasyAdd
  • Free Covid Cover insurance for first 200,000 customers

Digi’s offline and online customer service channels continue to be available during MCO:

  • MyDigi app or web service and Digi Online Store are 24/7 digital self-service channels.
  • Customer Care hotline, Live Chat and Social Media platforms continue to be staffed 24/7.
  • Limited number of Digi Retail Stores Operating on Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • Customers can perform transactions at alternative locations such as convenience stores, mini marts, hypermarkets, e-wallets, online banking and ATMs, and at Digi Kiosks.

For more information, please visit the Digi website.

About Kugan

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