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No More LTE-A or 4G+ Coverage in Kepala Batas

Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎15-06-2018

 

Why nowdays i cannot access 4G+ or LTE-A from my hometown, Kepala Batas since last two weeks. If I stand in 100meter  infront nearast digi tower opposite Petronas Jalan Ahmad Badawi,  it still have  strong signal  band 3 and band 7. Signal strength also good, both RSSP -90 and above, but still no carrier aggregation (4g+). 

 

I also check at Digi Official Coverage map, clearly i can  see the tower has 4G+ or LTE-A coverage. I attach a map thow location of the tower. Why now digi is turning off 4G+  at that tower? Almost 1 year I'm getting 4g+ signal without the problem.

 

During my site survey, i have to drive  5km  to  get 4G+ from next tower, behind Pusat Matrikulasi Pongsu Seribu. Hope Digi can fixed this problem.

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Re: No More LTE-A or 4G+ Coverage in Kepala Batas

Community Manager
Posts: 8,687
Registered: ‎20-04-2015

@Azmann75, kindly send in your observations through our MyDigi app for our technical team's assessment: https://community.digi.com.my/t5/Apps-Services/Report-Digi-network-problems-via-the-MyDigi-app/ta-p/...

Thank you


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Re: No More LTE-A or 4G+ Coverage in Kepala Batas

Contributor
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎25-04-2017

Hi Azmann75, the inside story about this is because of Band 7 (2600MHz) . In Malaysia, for LTE-A to be enabled, you need to bind both Bands (7 + 3) with carrier aggregation  to take advantage of the extra speed but the telcos have to think about comitting to signnificant  investments as well.

For Band 7 to achieve the same coverage as Band 3 you need to build TWICE as many base stations which is significant INVESTMENT for a telco to consider. I guess DiGi made the right choice to choose STABILITY over speed.

The downside is this, if you simply enable Band 7 with a weak footprint in an area already being served by Band 3 with no congestion and subscribers are already enjoying good speeds, it'll introduce very serious problems which is more of a downgrade than an upgrade. The weaker/faint Band 7 will overide Band 3 causing all 4G users in that surrounding area to force connect to it by default neglecting Band 3. When the weak Band 7 4G signals fades and fall below 1 bar(usually the case), the device will usually fallback to 3G HSPA instead.

Why MCMC chose to award LTE Band 7 for outdoor use for Malaysian terrain is perplexing. It was originally meant to compensate and alleviate traffic congestion in densely populated areas where offloading is required and indoor usage only. When activating Band 7 in an area, it needs to match the same signal quality as Band 3 else complains will come in from subscribers about their 4G signal reception has dropped with frequent disconnections falling back to 3G-HSPA.

It is actually a smart move on DiGi to acknowledge this and work towards providing a  more stable network than to push for LTE-A blindly. There are competing telcos in my area who aren't aware of this yet such as Telco C. They previously had already good Band 3 coverage in my area with me receiving full bars signals less than -75dBm but they made the unforseen blind move of activating Band 7 in my area with very weak spotty coverage. It overrided Band 3 causing my 4G device to force connect with Band 7 at only 1-bar or worst (-110dBm less) and fallback to 3G-HSPA automatically.

I don't really understand some people, why they're insisting on wanting to see 100Mbps speedtest results instead of wanting a stable connection. Even when speedtest results shows such high speed, it doesn't guarantee that you'll get such speeds on your real world downloads and your video streaming experience relies on the restrictions imposed by the content server itself by resolution. Stability and low response times is more important for most users specially if you're those planning to binge on streaming videos and playing games.

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Re: No More LTE-A or 4G+ Coverage in Kepala Batas

Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎15-06-2018

Thank for long explanation.  My question is why Digi turning off carrier aggregation while band 7 and band 3 still there. The  problem you explain is technical issues having band 7 vs band 3.  For area where already cover by  this 2 band, it is good to turn on 4G+ to increase bandwidth and capacity user.

 

I don't know much on 4G technical detail.. but i understand about band 7 (2600Mhz) vs band 3 (1800mhz). Sure band 7 has shorter distance  vs band 3, but band 7 has more bandwidth because of its frequency. If one area have two or more band... like Digi.. some area have 3 band,.. band 7, band 3 and band 8 (900Mhz), area near tower will get good band 7 signal, phone will select band 7, if area far from tower, where band 7 cannot be reach, phone will choose band 8 because of characteristic band 8 can travel far than band 8. Phone will fall back to 3G only when there no 4G signal available. Not of because band 7. If fall back happen because of band 7, maybe phone implementation is weak or bug.

 

4G+ has advantage where it can combine more than 2 band together, to cater high capacity and avoid congested. If 2 band available, like my area, but no 4G+, if one band is congested, phone with 4G+ cannot take advantage to aggregate two band, so it increase bandwidth and avoid network jammed or congested. Only upload is using based band, unless digi implement 3CA, where upload can take advantage of 2CA.

 

My home is far from tower Digi.. and the nearest tower is about 1.3 km, where Digi antennas are facing other direction. I can get both band, band 3 and band 7.. by using outdoor antenna but the signal still weak, The download speed is slow. Last time, when Digi implements 4G+, combine both band.. I can get around 40++Mbps and adequate for my usage. But now without 4G+ , i can get 20Mbps (band 7), but if my phone switch to band 3 then speed drop to around 8-10Mbps.

 

I'm very concern about internet speed because I’m currently using Digi Infinite 150 as internet broadband at my home, and share many devices. Without 4G+/LTE-A, if i play YouTube 4k movie on main tv, while my son watching Youtube kid on phone, then the problem happen.. youtube always buffering and disturb watching experience. If other people turn pc and while windows update is downloading update, then youtube 4k cannot be play because too much buffering. I don't have these issues long time ago, when there is 4G+ signal at my area.

 

I hope Digi will enable 4G+ since now some telco have already testing their 5G network. Digi cannot simply said to customer that 4G+ is not suitable for congested area or make network become worst. Nowadays customers are more educated and have a lot choice. More and more telco/ISP offering high speed bandwidth. Digi should care and appreciate their customer s who still loyal with Digi.

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Re: No More LTE-A or 4G+ Coverage in Kepala Batas

Contributor
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎25-04-2017

Sorry for the last long reply, I'll try to answer some of your points and sum it up for others to read in this one.

 

Point 1

Sure band 7 has shorter distance  vs band 3, but band 7 has more bandwidth because of its frequency.

 

This is a marketing misconception that telco equipment vendors always use to pursuade buyers. Telcos can only own  a limited chunk of spectrum(blocks) from each band as MCMC regulates its issuance by licensing.

 

Total bandwidth for bands as follows:

 

Band 3(1800MHz): 75MHz + 75MHz = 150MHz

Band 7(2600MHz): 90MHz + 90MHz = 180MHz

 

But you must understand that DiGi only maintains the right to use:

 

Band 3:  2  X 20MHz blocks

Band 7: 2 X 10MHz blocks

 

The statement is true only if the telcos hold the entire portion of the respective bands but this is not the case. In fact, what the equipment vendors hide from their customers is that for a higher band to achieve the same coverage area as say a lower Band 3, you need to invest at least twice as many base stations to make up its difference, that means a higher price quotation.

 

Point 2

some area have 3 band,.. band 7, band 3 and band 8 (900Mhz), area near tower will get good band 7 signal, phone will select band 7, if area far from tower, where band 7 cannot be reach, phone will choose band 8 because of characteristic band 8 can travel far than band 8. Phone will fall back to 3G only when there no 4G signal available.

 

This doesn't seem to be the case with my ZTE and Huawei Cat 4  LTE modems which supports both Band 3 and Band 7 . When they failed to maintain  and kept up with the higher Band 7 4G signal, they immediately fell back to 3G HSPA instead. for unknown reasons. There is no option to pre-select individual 4G LTE bands in their configuration/settings. So Band 3 is practically wasted in my area.

 

Point 3

4G+ has advantage where it can combine more than 2 band together, to cater high capacity and avoid congested. If 2 band available, like my area, but no 4G+, if one band is congested, phone with 4G+ cannot take advantage to aggregate two band, so it increase bandwidth and avoid network jammed or congested. Only upload is using based band, unless digi implement 3CA, where upload can take advantage of 2CA.

 

I assume that you're using your SIM inside a dedicated fixed wireless modem, are you? Since that you mentioned that you use it for watching TV at 4K resolutions at home? Well you see, the telco has to take in consideration of a bigger picture of the market. How much is your modem set you're using?

 

Mine is just a USB dongle which goes for RM150 or less nowadays. I plug it into a wireless router with a usb port to share the connection with a total investment of under RM250.It gets the job done. The USB modem is Cat4 LTE rated which supports download speeds of upto 150Mbps more than good enough for small families like mine.

 

Point 5

Without 4G+/LTE-A, if i play YouTube 4k movie on main tv, while my son watching Youtube kid on phone, then the problem happen.. youtube always buffering and disturb watching experience. If other people turn pc and while windows update is downloading update, then youtube 4k cannot be play because too much buffering. I don't have these issues long time ago, when there is 4G+ signal at my area.

 

Many non-technical customers always have the impression that the telco limits each subscriber accounts with a number of connected devices. This is not true. You can connect as many devices to the network as long as your home router DHCP server permits. The real question that they should be asking is how many virtual connections each user account is allowed instead. Thus this is the very reason why P2P activity is not allowed on mobile networks due to its highly taxing nature it imposes on the ISP's enterprise routers. Put it in this manner:

 

User 1 with only 1 connected device performs a P2P torrent dowloading activity with over 100 established virtual connections with diferrent seeders/servers.

User 2 with 5 simultaneous connected devices but all are doing simple HTTP downloads with each device only with 2 virtual connections established.

 

Which user is more taxing in terms of traffic handling resources to the ISP's core router? This is the reason why P2P traffic is blocked on mobile networks.If it is not handled with care, the overwhelming number of virtual connections will cripple the telco's router similar to a DDoS attacks.

 

In your case I don't think it has anything to do with the 4G/4G+ CA network unless you're not getting enough bandwidth. The year end school holiday season is approaching and also take note the time you're spending on your online activity. If it's between 6pm-12am, it's actually peak hours not only for Malaysia but the entire East Asia region covering Singapore, Thailand, HK, Taiwan and Japan. The content server in the region you're trying to access is also contraint by the traffic it can handle.

 

Are you experiencing this issue also during off peak hours?

 

On side note, I am also interested to ask this question with DiGi technical staffs about the max number of  virtual connection with each subscriber account. How many simultaneous virtual connections does DiGi allow for each subscriber account?