Digi has announced that it has made significant improvements to enhance its 4G LTE coverage in Perak, Penang, Kedah and Perlis in line with the government’s JENDELA plan. With the new additional sites and upgrading of existing network equipment, Digi boasts 92% population coverage for 4G LTE and 73% population coverage for 4G LTE-A in the northern region.
Digi’s Chief Technology Officer Kesavan Sivabalan said they have completed 85% of its targeted deployment and upgrades for the northern region planned for 2020 and they aim to complete the remaining sites by year end. He said the upgrading and modernising of existing sites with the latest technology will boost capacity and improve outdoor and indoor coverage which will improve the improve experience for customers.
Kesavalan added that expansion and improvement works in other regions are also progressing and it covers urban, suburban and rural areas. Although some areas may take longer time to deploy as infrastructure works can’t happen overnight, he said Digi is constantly finding ways to accelerate implementation works and they will provide more updates in due course.
Refarming of 3G 2100MHz spectrum for 4G
According to Digi, they are overlaying its sites with several layers of available spectrum. This include intensive refarming of the 2100MHz spectrum to enhance its 4G network performance as Malaysia aims to switch off 3G by the end of 2021.
In addition, Digi is deploying 4G LTE advanced technology with 4T4R MIMO to boost quality experience for both deep indoor and fringe coverage areas. In preparation for 5G rollout, the newly deployed sites are equipped with 5G-ready baseband units and platform which will enable Digi to quickly switch on 5G services when the time arrives. Digi has partnered with ZTE for its Radio Access Network (RAN) modernisation.
As revealed by the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Saifuddin Abdullah, Malaysians will have to wait for 2 more years for 5G rollout. Under the JENDELA plan, the focus is currently on improving 4G coverage and to increase the number of premises with fibre connectivity nationwide which will serve as a strong foundation for 5G.
You can check out Digi’s coverage map here.