Celcom-Digi merger will bring better user experience, says expert

KUALA LUMPUR: The Celcom Digi Bhd merger will be the precursor for a better end-user cellular experience will bring a better user experience, says Assoc Prof Dr Leow Chee Yen

He said this is especially so considering the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) goal for the amalgamation of the fifth-generation network (5G) into 80% of Malaysians' lives by 2024.

The Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) School of Electrical Engineering lecturer said that when these two colossal operators merge, they would be able to share their network infrastructure and leverage on each other’s signal strength in areas in which any of them has an advantage.

"In certain areas, maybe one of the operators has better network coverage and they can complement each other. They can provide services on their extensive combined network of bay stations," said Leow.

"Certain operators have some advantages in certain areas and through this merger, they’re able to combine their infrastructures and assets so that they are able to offer the best experience to the end-users,” he added when speaking to Bernama in an interview recently.

Leow, who is also a research fellow with the UTM Wireless Communication Centre, said the infrastructure from these two companies would undoubtedly be a plus point from the cellular user point of view.

He said the inculcation of 5G enhances the limitation of the existing technologies - the 4G, in terms of bandwidth, connection density as well as latency, as demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic where many users access the Internet.

"Whenever a network is busy with too many users, there will be bottlenecks in the network. On capacity ratio, we don’t have enough bandwidth to cater to users’ demand and by the end of the day, users’ experience will be affected,” he said.

On the 5G rollout, although comparatively slower than other developed countries which started in 2019, Malaysia has to deal with the challenges other countries may not have.

Citing South Korea and Singapore as examples, Leow said they have very extensive and comprehensive fibre connectivity and just needed to install 5G bay stations as fibre connections are there to support it and Singapore’s geographical terrain attributes made it easier to implement.

He said the country’s 5G rollout will take some time, particularly in areas where the nation doesn't have extensive availability of high bandwidth fibre links and may need additional time to construct fibre networks to provide the connectivity to 5G bay stations.

"We already have commercial 5G services in Malaysia since 2021 in several major cities and it will be coming to different parts of Malaysia eventually. Based on MCMC’s plan to have 80 per cent population to be 5G-enabled by 2024, we are on track although we started a bit later compared to other developed countries,” he added. - Bernama

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 MCMC , Celcom Digi Bhd , UTM lecturer , Leow Chee Yen , 5G , 4G


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