The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the national regulator for the communications and multimedia industry, has announced the government’s plan to implement more communication infrastructure development projects in Sabah and Sarawak from 2020 to 2022. This is in accordance with the national digital infrastructure plan, known as Jalinan Digital Negara (Jendela) which focuses on re-planning of the previous National Fiberization and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) to meet the major post-COVID-19 challenges.
MCMC noted that in Sabah, there are 382 new communication towers being planned. In addition, about 924 communication transmitters at existing towers will be upgraded under the Universal Service Provision (PPS) program. A further 35 new towers and 1,048 communication transmitters will be commercially upgraded by service providers to increase 4G coverage, while 251,166 premises will be provided with access to optical fiber. The government will also build a new telecommunication tower to provide 4G services to residents in Kampung Sapatalang, Pitas, Sabah, which is projected to be completed by the second quarter of 2021.
In Sarawak, 636 new telecommunications towers are being planned and 977 transmitters in existing towers are to be upgraded under USP. Another 49 new towers and 825 transmitters in existing towers will be upgraded commercially while 43,013 premises will have access to fiber optic lines.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stated that Jendela will create the foundation for comprehensive and high-quality broadband coverage facilities nationwide as the country is accelerating its efforts towards 5G technology under the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021–2025). Phase 1 involves an expansion of 4G mobile broadband coverage from 91.8% to 96.8% in populated areas until the end of 2021, while Phase 2 will involve the national transition to 5G.
(Sources: Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, Malaysia; Malay Mail)