Tuesday, May 30, 2023

MCMC – 313 new 4G Towers constructed in 2021, 4G Coverage at 95.4%

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) released its JENDELA 2021 Summary report to the public last month with details of its achievements in the Telecommunications industry for 2021.


As of 31 December 2021, some of the “achievements” by the Communications regulator and the Industry which exceeded their own targets are as below:


  • 37.30Mbps mobile broadband speeds (based on data from Ookla, not MCMC)
  • 95.4% 4G coverage in human populated area (MCMC did not reveal its standard of coverage measurement in the report and the percentage of 4G coverage including at non-human populated areas nationwide)
  • Maxis, Celcom, Digi and U Mobile upgraded 13,807 Base Stations to 4G technology in 2021 (total 30,174 base stations upgraded from September 2020 to December 2021). YTL Communications and unifi Mobile were not mentioned.
  • Constructed a total of 313 new 4G towers in 2021. These towers include 63 sites that was planned in 2020 but only completed in 2021. In total, MCMC claims that 1,189 4G towers were constructed from September 2020 to December 2021.
  • 6.848 million premises now have access to fibre broadband service. MCMC said a total of 1,434,142 million premises were fiberised in 2021 alone.
  • Identified Satellite mobile coverage at 839 locations in Johor, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Selangor, Sabah and Sarawak in 2021. However only 437 locations “are likely to experience improved mobile coverage”. MCMC blames the implementation delay due to floods.


MCMC did not disclose the full list of areas for the “achievements” it claims, including for the new 4G sites constructed, 2G sites that were upgraded and location of the premises with fibre. Detailed implementation of the national JENDELA plan was not shared with the public.


MCMC’s JENDELA plan aims to have “100% 4G coverage” and 100Mbps speeds via 5G by 2025.

For 2022, MCMC said it will implement the following:

  • Fiberise 652,101 premises (for comparison, 1,434,142 premises were fiberised in 2021 alone)
  • Construct 1,661 new 4G sites nationwide (for comparison, 250 sites were targeted in 2021)
  • Expansion of 5G coverage in major cities of Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, Johor, Selangor, Sabah and Sarawak

As for 3G, there are still some 440,852 active 3G users in Malaysia at the end of December 2021. Despite this, MCMC said last month that the 3G networks in the country will shutdown by end of March 2022 (although it previously said that the 3G shutdown will be completed by the end of 2021). At the time of writing, there no confirmation of a full 3G network shut down yet. About 80% of the “3G carriers” were shutdown at the end of 2021.

With 5G now commercially available in Malaysia since December 2021, MCMC said it was a “successful rollout” but did not share any details regarding 5G adoption in the country and network performance details in the report dated March 2022.

[Download PDF] – MCMC JENDELA 2021 Summary Report

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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