The merger of Malaysian telcos Celcom and Digi, creating CelcomDigi, has resulted into offering better consumer experience to some of the smartphone customers.
While retaining separate brands for now, CelcomDigi has embarked on integrating networks to enhance services leveraging the strengths of both entities.
The amalgamation has witnessed substantial strides in network integration, particularly through shared spectrum assets, notably the deployment of the 900MHz spectrum across all sites, aimed at fortifying coverage. Insights from Opensignal’s analysis reveal a significant impact on Digi’s network post-merger, notably in improved 4G Download Speed and 4G Video Experience attributed to the utilization of the new spectrum assets.
Comparative data from Opensignal showcases a notable increase in the proportion of Digi’s readings on spectrum blocks originally owned by Celcom, particularly in the 900MHz band. The increased usage of Celcom’s 900MHz spectrum by Digi users has significantly boosted their overall 4G scores, indicating an enhanced mobile experience, Rupert Bapty said in the Opensignal report.
CelcomDigi now possesses spectrum across multiple bands. The integration has seen a remarkable surge in Digi’s usage of Celcom’s 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 2100MHz bands, showcasing a substantial proportional increase in spectrum utilization. This increased spectrum capacity has notably augmented download speeds, especially on the 900MHz band, resulting in an impressive 54 percent increase in average download speeds.
Moreover, improvements extend beyond faster download speeds. The bolstered 4G Video Experience scores, especially on the 900MHz band, signify substantial advancements in video streaming capabilities. This, coupled with enhanced coverage, promises a significant enhancement in the minimum expected performance for users.
While these advancements showcase the potential of the merger, regulatory constraints necessitate the return of a portion of the combined spectrum. CelcomDigi will return 70MHz of spectrum covering various bands over a three-year period to address competition concerns. However, even after this return, CelcomDigi will retain a substantial spectrum holding of 150MHz, surpassing competitors like Maxis.
The merger of Celcom and Digi has ignited expectations of a transformative shift in the Malaysian telecom landscape. If CelcomDigi effectively leverages the combined strengths of both entities, it is poised to flourish in Malaysia’s fiercely competitive market. While challenges persist, including regulatory obligations, the potential for CelcomDigi to redefine the telecom space in Malaysia remains evident.