Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Remaining 894k 3G Users in Malaysia, 67 4G Towers constructed – MCMC 3Q21

The latest JENDELA report for the third quarter of this year reveals that 67 new 4G towers were constructed from July to September 2021, according to Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).


From January to September 2021, a total of 148 new 4G towers (urban and suburban areas) have been constructed in Malaysia, as part of the multi-billion ringgit JENDELA project, in collaboration with the Telecommunications Industry, including Celcom Axiata, Digi, Maxis, U Mobile, Telekom Malaysia (TM), TIME dotCom and others.


Apart from the new 4G towers, MCMC says that 8,697 existing 2G/3G base stations nationwide (urban and suburban areas) were upgraded with 4G technology this year, as of September 2021. 2,954 towers were upgraded during the 3Q21 period alone.

As for fixed broadband, Telekom Malaysia (TM), Time dotCom, Maxis and Celcom Timur have wired up 378,449 premises nationwide for gigabit access, during 3Q21. Over 1.13 million premises have been fiberised this year as of September 2021.

However, the regulator did not reveal any further details regarding the location of the new towers installed or upgraded, and the areas where premises were wired with fibre. There’s no breakdown by state as well.


With Malaysia 3G Networks expected to shut down by 31 December 2021, MCMC has targeted some 1.62 million 3G customers to be migrated to 4G by the end of this year and some 480k next year. There were over 2.09 million 3G customers at the beginning of this year.

As of September 2021, MCMC reveals that over 1.2 million customers have migrated to a 4G device meanwhile approximately 894k customers are still connected exclusively to 2G and 3G networks. MCMC says that these “3G customers will still be able to connect via 2G network after 3G Sunset and customer migration will continue in 2022”.

On its JENDELA MAP portal, MCMC said it received 18,247 “feedback” from Malaysian consumers, between 9 July and 30 September 2021. Out of these numbers, MCMC claims that 6,566 “feedback” were closed. The top 4 “feedback” categories are: Wireless Broadband, Fixed Broadband, Cellular Service and Free to Air TV. It is believed that some 11,681 “feedback” remains unresolved as of 1st October 2021.

Unlike the last two JENDELA quarterly reports, MCMC did not reveal any detailed information on customer complaints by category and breakdown by the Telcos. The only detail it revealed was the number of 4G network complaints that were received – “more than 31,000 reports”. It says that “Network or connectivity related complaints have reduced substantially in Q3, 2021 compared to previous quarter.”

Of the RM21 billion budgeted for JENDELA, 40 per cent is derived from the Universal Service Provision (USP) funds with the remaining 60 per cent to be funded by industry players. The regulator has allocated a total of RM7.40 billion from the USP fund for the Jendela Phase 1 projects (2020-2022).

As part of Phase 1 (2020-2022) of the JENDELA project, MCMC said it intends to achieve the following targets:

  • 7.5 million premises passed for fixed broadband
  • 96.9% 4G LTE coverage in “populated areas”
  • 35Mbps mobile broadband speeds
  • Gradual retirement of 3G networks by the end of 2021.
  • 5G planning and implementation for commercialisation (previously in phase 2)
  • Satellite connectivity to improve mobile coverage in remote areas (previously in phase 2)

[Download PDF] – JENDELA report for July-September 2021

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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