SMA is seriously helping the state government to provide over 90% of communications coverage by the end of 2022


Dr Zaidi Razak

KUCHING (December 13): The Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) is seriously helping the state government to provide more than 90% of extensive communication coverage to its population by the end of next year, assured the Director General of the SMA, Dr Zaidi Razak.

According to him, SMA faces a monumental task with Sarawak’s immense land mass which is as large as the peninsula, including its rugged terrain and difficult topography.

“However, we can guarantee that there is so much we can do, but we cannot do magic and provide an instant solution to the enormous geographic and physical challenges of Sarawak.

“In fact, Sarawak is the only state in the whole country to have this initiative which has proven to be crucial for the needs of all segments of society during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. said in a statement today.

The statement was issued in response to criticism of SMA Chairman and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg over connectivity and that Sarawak already has these intervention programs because Sarawak could not simply rely on the federal government as it had learned from previous lessons that Sarawak faced when some of the projects were canceled or delayed during the administration of Pakatan Harapan (PH).

However, Zaidi was optimistic that Sarawak’s goal of achieving better connectivity could be achieved with state and federal governments allocating more than Ringgit 5 ​​billion for communication infrastructure development over the next few years.

“The state will move forward with its digital economy agenda which is expected to mature by 2030, according to which the income of each household in Sarawak is expected to reach USD 12,000 per year (equivalent to 49 RM 920 at the current rate), “he said.

He admitted that there is a serious digital divide between rural and urban areas, as internet access is either insufficient or limited.

As such constraints could hamper the realization of the digital economy, fixed wireless broadband (FWB) has been identified as the solution to bridge the internet access gap, he said.

“As such, the Sarawak Rural Broadband Network (MySRBN), which is a Sarawak digital transformation initiative of the Government of Sarawak under the Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC), as part of the state’s efforts to digitize Sarawak’s economy and connect rural communities with the world, ”he said.

Zaidi explained that by using FWB technology solutions, the state government is committed to providing high speed broadband services to suburban and rural areas of Sarawak.

FWB technology refers to forward wireless transmission that provides three to four km radius coverage with an unobstructed line of sight for dedicated users across a point to multiple points.

The base station (or eNodeB) will be located in the existing structure, with the antenna and auxiliary systems, while the customer premises equipment (CPE), which will include the outdoor units (ODU) and indoor units ( IDU), will be installed at the users or premises in question.

“This technology enables rapid service launch and a dedicated broadband experience for users with unlimited quotas. FWB establishments open up global opportunities for residents living in rural areas.

“And with the implementation of Saluran, the state’s digital economy program will be further expanded with greater telecommunications coverage to provide digital connectivity to non-commercially viable areas,” he explained.

Zaidi said this was one of the state government’s initiatives to narrow the socio-economic gap in the rural community of Sarawak.

The government-funded Saluran component consists of SMA rural telecommunications towers (600 in total including 300 initial towers which are expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year and an additional 300 towers which are expected to be completed by end of next year; WiFi Saluran; Sarawak Rural Broadband Network (MySRBN); Fiber projects such as Point of Interconnection (POI) at nine SFC National Park sites; SarawakNet Connection and Sebauh-Bintulu High Speed ​​Broadband .

“To improve digital communications coverage throughout Sarawak, the federal government, through the MCMC, recently announced that it will continue to consult with all telecommunications companies (telcos) across the country with a view to upgrading their Internet networks to the Sarawak in order to achieve a connection speed of at least 4G. “said Zaïdi.

He said that with the establishment of SMA, Sarawak has provided a platform for all stakeholders to participate in the infinite and borderless world of the digital economy.

“And with the gradual and aggressive establishment of the entire ecosystem, Sarawak is poised to become a regional digital power under our commitment to digital enablers such as digital infrastructure, digital talent, global politics, Sarawak’s first politics (prioritizing our people getting involved in this journey) and finally, using catalysts to support our economic sectors.

“We hope that this ‘new ecosystem’ will increase our economic capacity and our ability to achieve our mission of becoming a developed state by 2030,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zaidi reiterated that the state government takes the provision of better internet connectivity to the population seriously, especially in times of the Covid-19 pandemic, when most people are required to limit their travel and stay at home.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, daily needs and activities can only be achieved through online means, including work, learning and even shopping.

“In view of this, internet connection becomes essential for everyone, especially during this pandemic period in particular and this is how SMA can play an important role in making connectivity a reality for every citizen of Sarawak”, did he declare.


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