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Telcos can be penalised for below par services
Published on: Saturday, March 21, 2015

Kota Kinabalu: Telcos can be penalised for rolling out below par services.

It is their commitment to the Government when they bid to obtain the spectrum licence, a consumer group was told on Friday.

Whether its 2G, 3G or the LTE, telcos pay millions of ringgit to keep their licence as guarantee and keep the commitments so the products are of good quality, said a former Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission officer, Azizan Afandi, here.

"There are many commitments that they (telcos) need to abide by to ensure they can roll out a good service...and the Government will ensure when they give it to them, these companies are truly capable of carrying out the job, he said.

While some licences could cost a company up to RM5 million every five years, they also need to spend millions of ringgit on infrastructures and equipment to roll out the broadband services.

"If they do not fulfil what have been committed, they can be penalised and one of the punishments is their bank guarantee would be withdrawn," he said.

He said there are various mechanisms to weigh on such violations, but it was too technical for him to elaborate and suffice for him to say that many of them have been penalised in the past.

Azizan said this in response to the inconsistency of the telco services rolling out their broadband services.

There had been several areas where telcos had no coverage in the city, including data services despite implementing a strict fee regime.

A consumer at the forum had complained that he had experienced a slow Internet connection despite paying RM48 a month for a 2GB package on a 3G service.

Azizan, however, pointed out the faster the use of a data will expedite the depletion of the quota, but believed the Internet usage in Sabah is increasing.

He suggested consumers control the limit of their quota.

Meanwhile, telco users can visit their respective providers and other providers to check if their identity has been used for multiple mobile number registration.

Azizan said they can also request the providers to cancel all the fake numbers.

"This is to ensure that there would be no abuse of your own identity," he said.

His comments came following reports of stolen identity being used to register for a mobile number to facilitate crime operations such as extortion and kidnapping.

Azizan said plans are now being mulled by the Government to further reduce the present limit to mobile numbers an individual can register.

At present, anyone can own up to 10 mobile numbers per telco. "However, the plan would not be anytime soon," he said.

Meanwhile, the forum was also told that telco services accounted for the most of 6,904 complaints received by Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia in 2014.

This was followed by bill and charges, short-messaging system (SMS) and unfair practices, said the group, adding that there was a 10 per cent increase from the previous year.

Consumer Forum of Malaysia established in 2001 is a platform for the industry and the consumers to make coherent and constructive contributions to service improvements and policy development.

The forum group, among others, is presently active in organising Industry Information Sharing sessions, which are aimed at increasing the awareness of consumers on issues related to communications and multimedia.

The third industry sharing session was held here on Friday.

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