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Poor 4G Coverage? Telco tower in Melaka & Johor cost RM100k for 6 years

The cost of permit for deploying a Telecommunication tower in Malaysia could go as high as over RM100k, over a 6 year period, according to Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in its latest JENDELA report.

A telecommunication tower (Telco site), typically a tall structure, is designed to offer mobile services, including 2G, 3G and 4G services, among other use.

MCMC-JENDELA-tower-cost-states-2021

The details of the tower permit cost, which is unusual from MCMC, revealed that Johor has the highest cost of permit of setting up a tower structure followed by Melaka, Sarawak, Terengganu, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak and Sabah.

The cost of permit is charged by the ‘Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan (PBT)’ in each states and there are 149 PBTs, such as Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur. The permit is different from the cost of deploying the tower structure itself, which would cost over RM100,000 per tower with radio equipments, excluding rental of land and rooftop space.

MCMC said the cost of permit varies among the PBTs within the same State. The regulator is revealing the highest cost of permit charged by the PBTs in any particular State.

Permit cost (for 6 years), including setting up and renewal of a Telco Tower by states below:

MCMC-JENDELA-6-years-tower-cost-states-2021

  1. Johor (RM116,750 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  2. Melaka (RM105,135 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  3. Sarawak (RM64,500 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  4. Terengganu (RM63,878 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  5. Perlis (RM51,900 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  6. N. Sembilan (RM47,400 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  7. Selangor (RM43,100 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  8. Perak (RM42,425 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  9. Sabah (RM41,000 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  10. WP KL (RM37,800 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  11. Pulau Pinang (RM35,500 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  12. Kedah (RM31,085 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  13. Kelantan (RM27,700 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  14. WP Putrajaya (RM18,100 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  15. Pahang (RM12,150 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  16. WP Labuan (RM12,065 – cost of permit for 6 years)

MCMC said that anything above RM40,000 per tower, for a 6 years period, is considered high cost.

The regulator said that Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Kelantan, Putrajaya, Pahang and Labuan are charging a “low cost” permit per tower, below RM40,000 for 6 years.

MalaysianWireless believes that the high cost of permit in these states could likely discourage Telecommunication service providers from deploying more Telco towers and this means poor 4G coverage for consumers. It is estimated there are around 25,000 Telco towers in Malaysia, including those on rooftops.

MCMC-JENDELA-rooftop-tower-structure-cost-states-2021

For rooftop tower structure, Melaka is top of the list, charging a “high cost” of permit at RM39,500 per rooftop structure, over a period of 6 years. List below:

MCMC-JENDELA-6-years-rooftop-tower-structure-cost-states-2021

  1. Melaka (RM39,500 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  2. Negeri Sembilan (37,750 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  3. Johor (RM36,540 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  4. Terengganu (RM33,100 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  5. WP KL (RM32,900 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  6. Pulau Pinang (RM32,500 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  7. Sabah (RM31,000 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  8. Selangor (RM28,500 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  9. Perak (RM27,425 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  10. Kelantan (RM26,200 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  11. Sarawak (RM25,000 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  12. Perlis (RM24,500 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  13. WP Putrajaya (RM22,000 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  14. Kedah (RM21,260 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  15. Pahang (RM11,150 – cost of permit for 6 years)
  16. WP Labuan (RM9,000 – cost of permit for 6 years)

For 2021, MCMC said that it plans to upgrade 12,499 existing 2G/3G base stations to 4G. As part of its JENDELA plan, some 193 new 4G sites will be deployed to improve mobile coverage nationwide. It also plans to offer Satellite connectivity at 839 locations to improve mobile coverage in remote areas.

MCMC-JENDELA-April-2021-new-4G-sites

For the period of January to March this year, MCMC said some 29 new Telco sites were deployed while 3278 sites were upgraded with 4G, as part of the JENDELA plan. U Mobile deployed the most number of new sites during this period. Meanwhile, Celcom and Maxis upgraded most of the towers to 4G.

MCMC-JENDELA-April-2021-upgraded-4G-sites

MCMC also revealed that Celcom Axiata has the highest number of network complaints from consumers, for the past 6 months – Story at this link.

[Download PDF] – MCMC JENDELA report

About Kugan

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