Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Not all Base Station has 4G, JENDELA failed to meet Targets [Commentary]

The latest JENDELA report (Q1 2022) from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) reveals that the average mobile broadband speed in Malaysia is now at 40.13Mbps, conflicting the claims by the Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa who said in March that the Telcos provided “unsatisfactory services to the people” when it comes to Internet speeds.


At 40.13Mbps, MCMC said the mobile speeds in the country surpassed the original JENDELA Phase 1 target of 35 Mbps.

The speedtest data provided by MCMC was not internally measured, instead based on data provided by United-States based Ookla, a company that measures network performance around the world.


Meanwhile 4G mobile coverage in Malaysia also improved to 95.7% as of March 2022 but the communications regulator did not say how it obtained or measured the coverage percentage.

3G networks in the country was supposed to shut down at the end of 2021 to make way for 4G. However the latest 2022 data provided by the regulator indicate that 3G networks are still up and running in remote areas, only targeted for shut down in December 2022.

There are still over 280,000 active 3G users in Malaysia as of March 2022. MCMC said “the customers have been informed of the 3G network shutdown, however, they do not see the need for the switch over,”.

Last year, MCMC encouraged mobile users to upgrade to a 4G-capable smartphone by end of 2021. Ironically, not all base stations in the country have been upgraded with 4G capabilities in 2022. The report also did not say if the Telcos have fully utilised all their radio spectrum, including the re-farming of all 3G spectrum to offer 4G services.


Out of the 2,491 base station targeted for 4G upgrades from January to March 2022, the multi-billion JENDELA project failed to meet expectations, falling short by 11% with 2,217 sites upgraded. “Base stations upgrade saw a shortfall in the overall targets mainly due to inaccessibility to selected sites affected by floods and monsoon season,” MCMC said in its Q1 2022 report.

For the first time since 2020, MCMC now includes partial data from YTL Communications in its latest JENDELA report. However, YTL failed to complete its base station upgrades planned for Q1. Details of the “base station upgrades to 4G technology” was also not shared considering YTL is a pure 4G service provider without 2G and 3G.

No data from unifi Mobile were tracked in the report.

Some 60 4G towers were built in Q1 2022 but MCMC did not reveal the location of these towers.


For fixed broadband, 179,666 premises have been fibre-enabled, exceeding the 170,017 target set for Q1 2022. Maxis was the only Telco in the list that failed to meet the targets completing only 59.6% with multiple excuses including permit delays, shortage of manpower and raw materials. At the same time, TM exceeded its targets by over 36% while Celcom Timur and TIME dotCom completed 100% of their targets.

[Download PDF]– JENDELA Q1 2022 Report from MCMC

Disclaimer: This is an opinion of the writer and does not represent the view of MalaysianWireless.

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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