Minister of Communication and Multimedia Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, center.

LABUAN: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) must take stern action against telecommunications companies (telcos) found to be not transparent in business transactions of data bandwidth or wireless broadband services in the country, said Minister of Communication and Multimedia Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

He said MCMC should look at the issue seriously as there had been complaints about fraud by certain telcos which offered high capacity broadband but did not deliver as promised.

“They promise mobile phone users 3G services but when data is received in their phones, broadband access width is weak and unsatisfactory. This should not be the case because they are paying monthly subscription for every data unit used,” he told reporters opening the Introducing ASEAN 2014 programme here Friday. Also present was Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli.

He also described the practice by certain telcos to offer broadband services to certain areas despite lacking the necessary infrastructure as unethical and said they should be penalised.

“We must not allow this business practice to continue as this will create an unhealthy business environment, resulting in anger among mobile phone users,” he said.

Shabery reminded mobile phone users to exercise their rights and be knowledgeable, especially when subscribing for broadband services from telcos.

“Maybe, we should come up with a star-rating system for telcos for mobile phone users so that they can choose the company that is rated as the best service provider,” he said.

He also noted that the high cost of telecommunication charges in Malaysia compared to Singapore was due higher infrastructure costs because Malaysia was much larger in size than the neighbour and terrain was also vastly different.

Shabery reiterated that the government was planning to build 1,000 telecommunication towers nationwide in stages, with the first phase involving 400 towers and 300 under phase two, with the completion period being three years.

“The tenders will be out next year. The construction of these towers is to improve the broadband usage rate,” he added. — BERNAMA