I am currently using a Huawei USB CAT4 4G LTE dongle to access Celcom 4G network at home for internet access which has no option to pre-select 4G bands.My location is Taman Sin Far(Xinhua), Pasir Puteh 31650 Ipoh.
My problem is this, Band 7 (2600Mhz) signal is very weak almost at <20% which is at only 1-2 bar but Band 3 1800MHz is at 90%+ with full bars. My USB dongle modem will always select the higher band by default (weaker Band 7) which is so weak, it sometimes even refuses to connect or auto disconnect forcing the device to go into 3G-HSPA instead.
Celcom was previously performing very good at my area when you first started 4G services with only Band 5(1800MHz) 2 years back.
Why did you choose to open up Band 7 2600Mhz at my area and make the signal so weak causing havoc and so much trouble for your customers? It is so bad that despite having good 4G coverage, I'm force to use an older 3G network instead because it became almost non usable due my LTE enabled devices keep switching the 4G on/off all the time.
The right strategy is to always ensure that the higher freq. band provides good coverage before you open up lower freq. bands to offload/expand your coverage. But Celcom is doing the OPPOSITE instead - Provide wider coverage for lower freq. bands 1st then open up spotty/weak higher bands Band 7 to give trouble to existing customers forcing people out from using its 4G service.
It is not only my LTE USB dongle which is now failing to work and experiencing trouble, my non-rooted 4G phones with no option to switch bands are also suffering degraded 4G services in my area. You shouldn't have opened up Band 7 in my area because from observation Band 3 1800Mhz is still getting very good speeds indicating that it is not congested.
What are you going to do about this Celcom? I won't just go out and buy a RM1000 modem just to accommodate your bad network planning or root my phones voiding their warranties just to force them to connect at specific bands. Band 7 was not meant for outdoor and open terrain. It was meant to cover blindspots and in-building coverage at complexes/malls.
MCMC should ban the use of Band 7(2600MHz) for outdoor and open terrain coverage except to limit them for in-building blindspots or highly dense crowded areas. If you enable it in an existing Band 3 footprint, you must ensure that it must match or exceed the lower freq. bands in terms of coverage or else it'll pose more problems instead like now what it is happening in my area.
Good point @HSL483. I think the best way to get Celcom to address your concern is to log a report through their customer service directly. Not saying they won't see this here but it's always good to get an official answer from Celcom themselves.
Well I think there are many Celcom users now suffering from this problem. There is still on solution to it. Please Celcom push your equipment vendor to do something about this. Don't allow them to sit on it as this impacts your reputation greatly. The solution to this is not something which can be solved easily. I've experienced this in many other telcos before and they too had this problem.It'll take months to resolve and significant investments to increase base stations for Band 7 to match Band 3 coverage.
To match Band 3 (1800MHz) footprint coverage, you need to set up as many as twice or more base station transmitters because of the weaker higher frequency signal. It is advisable that you should turn off Band 7 (2600MHz) for the time being because many of your customers will lodge complains because their 4G devices will automatically pre-select the higher freq. band by priority, if it fails straight it'll be reverted to 3G HSPA making them think that your 4G service is currently experiencing downtime.
Until you can ensure that you have enough base stations to provide a coverage area that matches Band 3(1800MHz), Celcom shouldn't use Band 7(2600MHz) at all unless the area is highly congested or signal reception can be planned such as indoor malls/complexes.
Here is the result of Celcom's 4G Band 3(Left) vs Band 7(Right) Comparison At My Place: