MAHB begins to upgrade KLIA communications infrastructure
By Chong Jinn Xiung January 2, 2019
- Travellers at passenger and cargo terminals to experience communications disruptions
- MAHB resorts to fixed-line phones and free airport WiFi to minimise impact
COMMUNICATIONS is essential for travellers, be it to check on the status of their flights or make a call to their loved ones. However, travellers passing through KLIA and KLIA 2 will experience intermittent disruption to their mobile connectivity as Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is upgrading the communication infrastructure at the two airports from Jan 1, 2019.
But what does this mean to the average traveller? It appears that reception and speed on cellular and leased line services will be affected. This is expected to impact travellers while they are in the passenger and cargo terminals.
In a press statement issued by MAHB, the operator said the upgrades are meant to improve the overall coverage and capacity of cellular networks at the airports. At the same time, it is meant to cater to future digitalisation requirements for the Airports 4.0 initiatives that would include the e-commerce ecosystem and Aeropolis development.
To help smoothen the transition, MAHB has put in place several measures including placing fixed-line phones at Information Counters for airport users to make calls. For those looking to communicate via WhatsApp or other chat apps, they can connect via the free Airport WiFi services to do so.
MAHB assures that it will ensure network connection remains strong to accommodate the additional traffic from users. It also said it will deploy more Airport CARE Ambassadors on-site to guide passengers who may require assistance.
In the statement, MAHB gives its assurance that it is working very closely with all its stakeholders to manage and minimise the impact, and to restore the service as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, MAHB’s official Twitter feed noted that it expects services to be back to normal within approximately three months as the exercise will be carried out in phases.
A senior telco executive whom Digital News Asia (DNA) reached out to said that the three- month timeframe isn’t too much to ask given that both terminals cover a huge floor space area and upgrades will take time.
“It’s possible that it’ll take three months to upgrade or re-engineer the inbuilding systems not only because of the size of the airport terminals but because these are highly secured areas,” said the executive who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue.
“The airport also opens 24/7/365 so contractors cannot shut down any areas to work and they may have only short hours in a day to complete their jobs.”
Those who have any queries or wish to provide feedback may do so through email at [email protected] or call the hotline number at 03-8776 9006.
Digital News Asia has reached out to MAHB to get further clarity on the matter and will update this story as further developments surface. As of press time, no response has been received from MAHB.
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