While there are plenty of telcos in Malaysia that have received their share of LTE spectrum from the government, there are only two major players that have widely roll out the LTE service for consumers in general. Obviously, those two telcos are Maxis and Celcom.
In fact, Celcom have revealed that they are working to have even more active LTE sites – 1200 in total – by mid-2014 according to their financial report for the third quarter of 2013 which was announced earlier today. As a comparison, the telco’s previous aim was around 300 sites within the second quarter of 2013.
However, Celcom didn’t specify the area that these new LTE areas will be. For now, the telco claimed that their LTE network have covered major population areas in Klang Valley, Ipoh, Penang and Johor Bharu as of September 2013. There is also a mention in the report on their partnership with Altel which was first made public in July this year. Through the spectrum sharing agreement, it will apparently allow Celcom to deliver data speed of up to 150Mbps at each of their LTE locations.
Additionally, they have embarked on a RM 100 million effort to improve coverage, speed, customer experience, and fibre infrastructure in Klang Valley, Eastern regions of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak, major highways, and tourist areas which are expected to be completed by April 2014. Not to forget, Celcom apparently have also spent around RM 200 million to improve their overall network quality to cover plenty of issue including the much dreaded dropped calls problem.
Judging from all these facts that Celcom have listed in their new financial report, the telco seems to put a lot of effort in order to make sure that their network stays competitive and compelling to users. Nevertheless, I do hope all those hundreds of millions ringgit that Celcom are spending will indeed make their network better since the current consensus by MCMC (and general consumers alike) is that telcos are not working hard enough to provide quality experience to their customers.