Fahmi: 4G Internet coverage for Sarawak outskirts soon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — Those residing outside Sarawak’s city centre will soon be able to benefit from 4G internet coverage once all 600 telecommunication towers are reactivated.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said some of the towers now still do not have transmitters or radio.

“In English it’s called ‘naked towers’, all these time they don’t have transmitters or radio or some call it kuali.

“This has been a longstanding issue, and last October, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Finance Ministry (MOF) has agreed to allocate funds annually alongside telecommunication companies to solve several issues so that the towers’ utilisation could be expedited,” Fahmi told a press conference at the Parliament building here today.

He said in the first year, MCMC will spend RM42.9 million, while telecommunication companies will spend RM29.1 million; in the second year, MOF will fork out RM38.2 million, while telecommunication companies will fork out RM29.1 million.

“For the third year, MOF will take out RM38.2 million, while the telecommunication companies will take out RM29.1 million.

“Overall, RM206.78 million will be spent by MCMC, MOF and telecommunication companies to ensure that the 600 towers which have been built by Sawarak Multimedia Authority can be utilised fully,” he said.

According to Fahmi, this is the outcome for discussions held between the Sarawak state government and telecommunication companies, when he was in Sarawak last year.

“I actually wanted to offer some update, whereby out of the 600 towers, 169 towers have been successfully reactivated and offering 4G internet coverage since the beginning of the year right up to March 22.

“This is a substantial development because for a very long time, the towers were not taken up by telecommunication companies. So the solution we have a employed is a hybrid solution, whereby through the cooperation of the MNOs along with MOF and MCMC, this tripartite arrangement will solve the problem of the 600 unused towers — that have been there for the longest time,” Fahmi said.

He added that out of the 169 towers, 52 towers are occupied by four telecommunication companies, 37 towers occupied by three telecommunication towers, 79 towers occupied by one telecommunication company and one test site where one tower is used as by five telecommunication companies for testing purposes.

Earlier in Parliament, Fahmi said a total of 2,395 new telecommunication towers out of the planned 3,884 under the National Digital Network (Jendela) have been completed and operational as of January 31.

He was responding to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Selangau MP Edwin Anak Banta who asked about the government’s plans in increasing broadband services for rural areas in Sarawak.

The RM21 billion Jendela initiative is a component of the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) which was launched in August 2020.




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