Celcom has announced 4G network improvements in Sabah and Sarawak by optimising 100 sites with ZTE’s L900 technology starting November 2021. The network optimisation exercise is in line with the upcoming 3G network shutdown that’s scheduled for the end of this year.
According to the telco, it aims to bridge the digital device by providing better internet in rural and hard-to-reach areas. The deployment using the 900MHz spectrum is said to be a quick solution for 4G improvement and the lower band offers better in-building penetrating powers which allow a more robust transmission of data and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services at the 100 sites.
In April this year, Celcom and ZTE have completed their 4G LTE upgrade exercise using the 1800MHz spectrum at 70 sites within Sabah and Sarawak. The upgrade initiative had quickly addressed the increasing data traffic and immediately improved network quality within the areas involved.
The 4G upgrade exercise has helped to improve connectivity at several remote schools in Sabah which include Sekolah kebangsaan Kukuro, Sekolah Kebangsaan Rancangan Klias, Sekolah Kebangsaan Nanamum and Sekolah Kebangsaan Samparita. Celcom is also working with ZTE to improve 4G coverage for 6 schools in rural Sarawak in the last quarter of the year.
Celcom and ZTE have also collected devices under the #MyBaikHati device crowdsourcing programme. ZTE has handed over devices from its associates and contractors to Celcom, which will help students from B40 families with their online home-based learning needs.
Before 2021 comes to an end, existing users who are still using 3G devices are urged to switch to a 4G device that supports VoLTE. Celcom customers who are still using their old SIM cards are required to get a new SIM in order to connect to their 4G network.
According to the last JENDELA update, there are less than 900,000 subscribers throughout Malaysia who have yet to switch to 4G. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission aims to migrate as many users as possible before 3G networks are turned off.
After the shutdown, users with 3G devices can still make and receive phone calls and send SMS via the 2G network. Once 3G is completely switched off, telcos can reuse their existing 900MHz and 2100MHz spectrum to improve 4G LTE coverage.