MCMC fines major telcos RM1.2mil for dropped calls

  • Considering star-rating system so that consumers can make informed choices
  • Maxis had the highest dropped call rate of 8.16% in Pendang, Kedah

MCMC fines major telcos RM1.2mil for dropped calls[Article amended with Maxis statement below]
THE Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said it has served 28 compounds totalling RM1.2 million ((US$371,920) to Maxis, Celcom, DiGi and U Mobile – six times more than the compounds issued in March 2013.
 
The compounds were served after MCMC conducted ‘Extensive End-Point Service Availability Testing’ (EESAT) in the third quarter (July-September) of 2013, nationwide, the Commission said in a statement.
 
“We stepped-up EESAT in 2013 due to the numerous complaints and reports received from the public, NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and the media regarding dropped calls early last year,” said MCMC chairman Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi (pic).
 
“We view complaints about telcos very seriously, especially for failing to deliver to consumers the service they claimed to offer, but any action taken against them must comply with due process under the law.
 
“This involved compliance testing and analyses thereafter, which may take time. Hence, we thank the public for their understanding and assistance in reporting issues such as this to MCMC and urge them to continue to report to their service providers on all issues relating to quality of service, particularly on dropped calls,” he added.
 
Sharil said the Commission also met with the chief executive officers of these telcos and asked them to put more effort into improving the quality of service within a certain period of time.
 
“MCMC made it clear that it will not hesitate to take stern action against the telcos if they fail to comply.
 
“In fact, it may be timely to start exploring a ‘star-rating’ system for telcos so that consumers may make an informed choice about the best service provider for them,” he added.
 
The EESAT is done periodically. In Q3 last year, a total of 120 compliance measurements were conducted in various locations throughout the whole country, MCMC said.
 
Compounds were served to telcos that showed more than 3% dropped call rates as stipulated in the Mandatory Standards for Quality of Service.
 
The testing indicated that Maxis had the highest dropped call rate of 8.16% in Pendang, Kedah. DiGi came second and third with 8% and 7.78% dropped call rates in Laluan Jalan Utama from Tuaran to Kudat and Laluan Jalan Utama from Membakut to Keningau, respectively.
 
Celcom Axiata Bhd was served seven separate compounds totalling RM310,000; DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd received 11 separate compounds totalling RM480,000; Maxis Mobile Services Sdn Bhd had nine separate compounds amounting to RM360,000; and U Mobile Sdn Bhd was issued one compound of RM50,000.
 
[RM1 = US$0.31]
 
In terms of complaints relating to dropped calls, MCMC observed that there has been a reduction of 33.3% in Q1 (Jan-March) 2014 compared with Q3 2013.
 
All telcos showed a reduction of complaints on dropped calls, except for Maxis which doubled. DiGi on the other hand managed to reduce dropped calls complaints by 89% during the period.

Statement from Maxis Bhd
 
We place a lot of emphasis on network investment to ensure that we continuously give our customers the best experience. We are confident that Maxis is at level with good international standards. We are also accelerating our network modernisation, performing system capacity expansion and enhancing network quality to serve our customers better.
 
To continuously improve our services, we build more sites, conduct engineering upgrades and site optimisation to improve network coverage, capacity and quality. We also carry out regular drive surveys and perform periodic independent benchmarking on roads nationwide to gauge the network performance.
 
When services are interrupted due to equipment theft, faulty equipment or power failure, our teams are immediately deployed to quickly restore services. To minimise theft, we continuously strengthen site security and work closely with the police to prevent such incidents.
 
To address issues related to devices, we provide useful information for customers on device settings through various channels. We also conduct thorough tests on the devices that we introduce into the market to ensure network compatibility.
 
Related Stories:
 
MCMC fines five telcos nearly RM1mil over false prepaid registration (Updated)
 
Celcom and Maxis respond to MCMC fine

 
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