Population coverage for 4G LTE has been a hotly debated topic of recent times; at least for two telcos – Digi and Maxis. This overdrawn rally between the two has managed to do one thing, get both their customers rattled up. We’re seeing more negative comments from our readers of late, regarding their own experiences on the two networks. When push comes to shove, what we need are clear outlines on how each cellular provider measures themselves, and this is essentially what Maxis talked about earlier today.
The parameters set by our telcos determine if they’ve set the bar(s) (figuratively) for their network, high enough to be considered acceptable by consumers. Quoting Maxis reps, 4G LTE is currently growing at an alarming rate and to keep up with that upward trend is a tough task but the green telco believes that the standards it has set is more than adequate enough to live up to their claims.
Mentioning briefly that their 4G LTE population coverage is at 62%, placed in 144 locations including state capitals and secondary towns. If you kept track of the current developments, that betters Digi’s numbers by 2%; though there have different levels of signal strength, one being more stringent in their definitions of measurement.
Backed by a desire to provide the most consistent experience across 2G, 3G, 4G and beyond, they’ve established standards that maintain their reputation and position as the best telco to provide a high performing internet experience. If you’re new to the whole debate and the jargon that goes along with it, feel free to read the following:
Signal strength for cellular reception is measured in dBm or decibel-milliwatts
Without digging too deep, this scale of measurement allows us to see how good or bad the reception is
The better the reception, the higher the number, hence -60 dBm is better than -130 dBm
How do telcos do about measuring this reading? Well they head to the very edges and see what they can maintain within an area before dropping to a lower speed aka 4G LTE to 3G. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, Maxis has issued (earlier on) that they measure their signal strength at -98dBm, which on scale, is better than Digi’s -110dBm base of measurement. The former goes on to add that if they followed Digi’s standards, it would easily hit 70% of population coverage.