DiGi subscribers, have you ever experienced terrible weak signal especially when you are indoors? It’s even worst during raining. Have you ever think WHY?
Before I explain it to you, let me tell you some introduction and basics.
Malaysia is having 4 telcos, they are Celcom, DiGi, Maxis and U Mobile, and 3 frequency range are available – GSM 900, GSM 1800 and UMTS 2100. UMTS 2100 is 3G. Out of these 4 telcos, only DiGi is using GSM 1800 while other telcos are using GSM 900. But of course all of them are using UMTS 2100 for 3G services.
So, DiGi is the only 1 telco in Malaysia using GSM-1800, and DiGi is also the most complaints about poor or even terrible weak indoors signal. Now, can you related this problem with it’s GSM 1800 ?
What is GSM 1800 ?
According to wikipedia, GSM-1800 uses 1710–1785 MHz to send information from the mobile station to the base transceiver station (uplink) and 1805–1880 MHz for the other direction (downlink), providing 374 channels (channel numbers 512 to 885). Duplex spacing is 95 MHz. GSM-1800 is also called DCS (Digital Cellular Service) in the United Kingdom, while being called PCS in Hong Kong (not to mix up with GSM-1900 which is commonly called PCS in the rest of the world).
Another article from wikipedia — Generally speaking, lower frequencies allow carriers to provide coverage over a larger area, while higher frequencies allow carriers to provide service to more customers in a smaller area.
Another not wikipedia articles we found — As the frequency increase its penetration power decreases.The signal travels a lesser distance.Hence for a perticular area more no of towers need to be erected in 1800/1900 than in 900MHZ for full coverage…Hence vodafone( 1800MHZ) has more towers per unit area than Idea Cellular ( 1800+900) …..
Band of 900 is from 890-915( uplink) 935-960Mhz( downlink)….
Band of 1800 is from 1710-1785(uplink) and 1805-1880MHZ(Downlink)….
Same property is followed here…..The uplink is lower ( MOBILE -BTS) than the downlink frequency (BTS-MOBILE)…so that this may help the uplink signal to travel futher without consuming much power…BTS due to its increased power ,has higher frequency to tavel the same distance…
A long conversation with DiGi 2nd level support team, he told me that, because DiGi is using GSM 1800, so the coverage is wider than GSM 900, that’s why we can see DiGi slogan said they are having the widest coverage, although we all know that DiGi coverage is not as wide as another 2 telcos – Celcom and Maxis.
He also said that, the only disadvantage of it is the GSM 1800 penetration is poor, so signal become weaks when indoors.
After the conversation, I did a lot of search, all mentioned that GSM 1800 coverage ain’t wider than GSM 900, and also does not tend to propagate better through buildings due to the wavelength is close to the atomic seperation of the atoms making up the brick.
So many disadvantages of GSM 1800, why DiGi loves GSM 1800 ?
No idea, may be due to GSM 1800 is capable of faster data speeds, and also able to provide service to more customers in a smaller area.
Now, do you have any idea why DiGi signal is terrible poor indoors ?
- If you care about every minute few cents cheaper than other telcos
- If you ain’t encounter this issue
- If you’re happy with DiGi services
- If you’re enjoying unlimited free voice call + sms among supplementary lines
- If you don’t mind this signal issue