1 January 2019
Cellular companies are concerned over the potential disruptions of communication services at KLIA and klia2 with the handover of indoor coverage to a new service provider last night by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
The concern stems after a walk-through test conducted at klia2 yesterday morning and the results showing that the indoor building coverage (IBC) was “not as favourable,” sources said.
It is said that officials from the four main celcos – Celcom Axiata, Digi.Com, Maxis Bhd, U Mobile – and industry regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission were present.
MAHB is said to have appointed edotco Group, part of the Axiata Group, to take over the IBC network from Skai Network Sdn Bhd, whose network is said to have been switched off at midnight yesterday.
“MAHB should not shut down the existing network until they can ascertain the IBC quality of services. From the test it is obvious there are gaps and that means more work is needed to improve coverage and quality of services. Users can also expect capacity problems to arise,’’ said the source.
He added that “a gradual migration instead of an abrupt change over would have been favourable to minimise disruptions. It will not only affect travellers but also those operating at klia2.’’
Operators are also concerned about the potential cost impact to them with the switchover from one service provider to another, said the source.
MAHB yesterday issued a statement saying that it was upgrading its communication infrastructure at KLIA over a three-month period beginning Jan 1, according to a report by Bernama.
The airport operator said the upgrade it would improve the overall coverage and capacity of the cellular network at the airport.
“It is to cater for future digitalisation requirements such as Airports 4.0 initiatives, the e-commerce ecosystem and the Aeropolis development,” MAHB said.
MAHB added that during this period, airport guests and community may experience intermittent disruption in terms of reception and speed on the cellular and leased line services within the passenger and cargo terminals, respectively.
“MAHB has put in place several mitigation plans to ensure a smooth transition.
“The mitigation measures include placing fixed-line phones at information counters for the convenience of the airport users, as well as making sure the free airport WiFi service remains at excellent connection strength to enable users to communicate via data calls through mobile apps such as WatsApp and Messenger.”