Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is geared up to take action, including slapping hefty fines, on errant telecommunication players that fail to keep their promises to improve the quality of their services.
The players were given six months to improve their services but have failed to live up to it with rampant dropped calls a clear indication that they may be more concerned with getting customers on their network instead of expanding their network on a timely basis to cater to the additional growth, according to sources.
They added that at least two cellular companies were the culprits where consumers faced dropped calls on a daily basis and that this had been going on for some time, though there were some months when rate of dropped calls had reduced.
"Imagine a situation where you are hardly able to hear what your friend is talking over the phone or the phone gets cut off when you are saying something important. This points to low quality service despite customers paying high monthly bills," said a source.
Those in the know claim that the regulator is in the final stages of preparing the documents to slap the fines on these errant telecoms players.
"It is about time the regulator take stern action and impose big fines so that the players give more attention to the consumer's interest instead of being engrossed in getting new customers. We understand they have to grow but they must also at the same time expand their networks and improve quality," the source added.
Improving quality of services was one of the key things that MCMC new chairman Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi had emphasised when he came onboard.
Apparently, he had given all the telecoms companies six months notice to improve the services but many have failed to do so, and even if some had, it is not up to the mark given the number of complaints from consumers.
It is learnt that Sharil met the chief executives of all the telecoms companies recently and brought up the matter of quality and told them that despite their promises the quality of services was still left much to be desired.
With Malaysia looking to become a developed nation by 2020, the quality of services is a major consideration across all sectors of the economy, including the telecoms sector, which forms a vital component of connectivity between the nation and the outside world, according to a report.
It said Malaysia should benchmark itself with other developed countries which was why the regulator had to do its job, even if it meant taking stern action against players to protect the interest of consumers as communication plays a major role in today's world and to support it the quality of services had to be given maximum priority.
For mobile networks, the quality of services referred to the measurement of a system with good transmission quality, service availability and minimum delay, the report said, adding that it was important to guarantee quality in each layer so that the network would be more flexible and tolerant to quality issues.
It said some of the other challenges were efficient usage of the spectrum as its availability was limited and bandwidth allocation played a major role with respect to this aspect.
In its early years the regulator had taken steps to monitor the level of the quality of services but, after a while, all the surveys that it used to conduct were no longer done.
Now that is being reinstated and the regulator has recently issued a tender on Quality of Service Assessment on Wired and Wireless Broadband Networks.