On 19 September, the Malaysian government officially launched the National Fiberization and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) to provide robust, sustainable, high quality and affordable digital connectivity nationwide, in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2021-2030. The implementation of NFCP will happen over a five-year period from 2019 to 2023 at a cost of MYR 21.6 billion (USD 5.16 billion).
NFCP intends to reduce broadband costs to 1% of gross national income (GNI) by 2020. It also aims for 100% premises in state capitals and selected high impact areas to be covered by broadband of up to 500Mbps and gigabits availability in selected industrial areas by 2020; 20% of premises in sub-urban and rural areas to be connected with broadband of speed up to 500Mbps and fiber network to pass 70% of schools and government offices, hospitals and police stations by 2022 and average speed of 30Mbps in 98% of populated areas by 2023.
NFCP will be 50% financed by the Universal Service Provision (USP) fund while the remainder will be from the capital expenditure of telecommunications companies in Malaysia.
The Communications and Multimedia Minister said that NFCP will rely not just on fiber optic networks but also on other technologies such as wireless and satellite. The plan will also provide a conducive Environment for the use of new technologies such as 5G. Nationwide trials on 5G network are underway as of October this year. This is an expansion of the 5G trials launched in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya in April 2018. Furthermore, an agreement has been signed between Malaysian telco, Maxis and Huawei Technologies on the provisioning of 5G network service in the country. The deal includes Huawei’s supply of 4G/LTE, and 5G radio equipment and services to accelerate modernization of the current LTE network to be 5G ready.
(Sources: Malay Mail; Bernama; The Edge Market)