DST is currently awaiting approvals from the relevant authorities to set up another 50 base stations to help ease the congestion of its third generation (3G) network.
In an interview on the sidelines of the recently concluded ASEAN 100 Leadership Forum in Myanmar, Idris Vasi (pictured), chief executive officer of the DST Group, said that traffic had increased by 70 per cent since January.
"Last year it was already up by between 70 to 80 per cent from the previous years and this is not unique to Brunei," said Idris.
He added that to alleviate the congestion, DST would add a third carrier that would increase the capacity of every base station by 30 per cent.
"We will be adding more base stations, and in the last six months, we have set up 29 new sites, with another 50 sites in the pipeline as soon as we get the relevant approvals from the government," he said.
Idris said that DST customers would be able to see improvements in the network's performance by the end of this year at the earliest.
Progressive improvements would also be seen over the following months, he added.
"Hopefully starting from now, every month they'll see an improvement because this is a progressive thing so we are going stage by stage and the intention is to do it across Brunei," he said.
Meanwhile, Idris also said that it was still "a bit too early" to talk about the 4G (fourth generation) trials that the network has been implementing as it was only launched at the DST Carnival at the beginning of the month.
He said that DST will be giving the free trials to about 1,000 Bruneians on their pilot project.
The chief executive said that pending approvals from the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI), DST is expected to launch its 4G network at the end of the first quarter of next year, or between March and April.
Idris stressed that the network congestion and slow performance of the 3G network is not related to 4G trials as the base stations for the 4G network was separate. "One of the reasons that we are deploying 4G is to offload the congestion from the 3G network, because traffic has increased so much," he said.
DST will release its new pricing scheme for mobile phones and data usage by the time the 4G is commercially launched next year.
Idris said that DST would be following the global practice of removing unlimited plans.
He added that he didn't expect backlash from the move, since "we are giving more choices to the public and one of the primary reasons we are doing that is to address the congestion issues which about 10 to 15 per cent of the users are causing".
Idris had earlier said that heavy users take up most of the bandwidth that regular users are also using. "So they have to pay separately from the non-heavy users, because we don't want 10 per cent of the users impacting the remainder 90 per cent," he had said. The Brunei Times
Thursday, December 13, 2012
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