KUALA LUMPUR: The National Digital Network Plan’s (Jendela) Phase 1 target remains on track after it reached a milestone of providing 7.2 million premises with fibre connectivity as well as providing 4G coverage at 95.82% as of June 30.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chief operating officer Ali Hanafiah Yunus said in terms of speed, internet connections have been between 30Mbps and 47Mbps on average.
“We are working closely with the telecommunications industry as well as stakeholders at the state level,” he said at Jendela’s second quarter report (April-June) virtual media and analyst briefing today.
Jendela’s Phase 1 target is to provide 7.5 million premises with fibre connectivity, that is 96.9% coverage by Dec 31.
When the initiative started, about 4.96 million premises had fibre connectivity and the 4G coverage stood at 91.8% in August 2020.
Ali also said the cost allocation for Phase 1 was initially RM20 billion, but during its first year of implementation in 2021, this expanded to RM28 billion, with 60% being funded by private finance initiative (PFI) and the rest from the government via the Universal Service Provision (USP) fund.
“Currently, the work pending for Phase 1 is the construction of 1,661 new sites across Malaysia to extend 4G coverage in rural and remote areas. Site surveys have been done in most of the sites and (we are) at the stage of getting approvals from state entities and local councils,” he said.
He said 304,676 premises have yet to be fiberised, from the target of 929,631 under Jendela’s Phase 2020-2022 action plan.
He noted that during the April-June 2022 period, service providers were able to complete the construction of 57 new 4G towers, exceeding its target of 52, a 109.6% achievement.
It also completed upgrading 1,710 base stations against its targeted 1,607 for Q2 2022.
However, 167,758 premises (or 96.7%) were provided with fibre connection versus its Q2 2022 target of 173,508.
Ali said MCMC received 40,863 network complaints via the MCMC ADUAN portal between Jan 1 and June 30 this year, a 66% drop over the same period a year ago.
This was due to the spectrum band being “re-farmed” to provide 4G after completely shutting down 3G, and more new 4G sites being completed and upgraded, especially in urban and suburban areas.
On the country’s 5G needs versus a stable 4G connection, he said 5G will benefit high-technology industries, such as medical, and oil and gas.