Telecommunications operators have announced a list of initiatives to help customers remain connected during the ongoing Movement Control Order (‘MCO”), and to support them with assistance in the form of free data during these unprecedented times.
Industry operators Celcom Axiata Berhad (“Celcom”), Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (“Digi”), Maxis Berhad (“Maxis”), U Mobile Sdn Bhd (“U Mobile”), Telekom Malaysia Berhad (“TM”), and TIME dotcom Berhad (“TIME”) have also mobilised their dedicated teams to work around the clock to ensure network and connectivity service levels are maintained. Telecommunications is classified as an “essential service” under the MCO.
Free internet for all customers, worth more than RM600mil
- All Postpaid and Prepaid customers of Celcom, Digi, Maxis, and U Mobile will receive free high-speed internet of 1Gb per day, to be used between 8am and 6pm. This will begin by 1 April 2020 and will be in effect throughout the duration of MCO. Customers will be able to enjoy this service from their respective operators.
- TM and TIME are supporting the mobile operators by providing additional fibre capacity to serve higher traffic demands.
- The industry is also working on ways of easing the burden of the B40 segment during this period and will announce plans around this aspiration in due course, following discussions with the relevant authorities on the best mechanisms to support this segment.
- Additionally, all operators are also offering specific packages and assistance for their customers. Customers may refer to their respective operators for more information.
Additional RM400mil network investment to support increased demand and provide continued network availability & capacity
- The industry assures customers that its first priority is to maintain the high availability and quality of telecommunications networks to ensure connectivity remains accessible for all. All operators continue to invest where needed, and have teams working 24/7 during this MCO period to maintain sites, upgrade capacity, and improve coverage. This is to ensure the network is resilient in anticipation of heavier traffic from people staying and working from home. Operators continue to work closely with the authorities to enable our teams to carry out rectification and upgrades required to ensure service network availability is not compromised during this period.
- With Malaysians spending more time working and learning from home, operators continue to see increased demand from higher utilisation of usual lifestyle applications and also new mobility applications, as well as the shift in areas of high utilisation as the population largely moves from central business districts to residential areas.
- To cater for this increased demand and to ensure uninterrupted connectivity for all, service providers have put in additional investments on top of original plans to upgrade the network capacity. Additionally, traffic management and re-prioritisation activities are also conducted to optimise user experience, prioritising essential applications and services and ensuring productivity for the business community by enabling work from home.
- Additional investment has also been put to enhance the network coverage and capacity for critical sites such as hospitals, government and enforcement agencies, and media centers around the country, to name a few.
12,000 front liners and engineers working 24x7 in multiple shifts, while you stay home
- Operators remain committed to providing customers support when they need. All call centers and social media support teams remain in operation throughout this period. In support of MCO, all digital and online channels are also available for consumers to continue to enjoy our services.
- Front liners such as call centre agents, social media agents, network and IT operations, and all related ecosystem partners and vendors continue to support the day-to-day operations, on site rectifications as well as the additional activities as a result of managing the increased demand.
- The safety and health of our frontline staff remain our utmost priority, and appropriate measures are taken such as sanitization, temperature checks, and providing adequate PPE as they carry out their duties. We deeply thank all employees involved in ensuring service levels are maintained during these times.
- We would like to remind our customers that stores remain closed during this MCO period. The industry continues to work with the authorities to evaluate best possible options around the limited opening of these points of sale, so we may resume attending to customer needs and the issues they face.
Free calls to important hotline and emergency numbers including additional coverage for critical sites
- All operators have zero rated calls to important hotline and emergency numbers, including the Ministry of Health’s (“MOH”) Crisis Preparedness Response Centre (CPRC), MOH state branches, identified Covid-19 screening and admitting hospitals, the MCO hotline, and MOH’s official website. We believe we all have a role to play to ensure Malaysians heed the call of the government to stay home and follow instructions provided by the authorities.
- To ensure Malaysians are well informed with vital information on Covid-19, operators are working with authorities to disseminate health, emergency, and public interest announcements via daily SMS broadcasts to our customers.
Driving economic value through the supply chain
- As responsible corporate citizens, all operators also endeavour to ensure that our employees continue to be employed, and our partners and supply chain continue to be supported in the coming months.
The industry extends our deepest appreciation and best wishes to all medical staff, police, army, immigration, customs, and RELA personnel, and to Majlis Keselamatan Negara (“MKN”) for their tireless efforts in facing the Covid-19 challenge and maintaining the peace and security of the country during this MCO period.