YTL Communications and Intel Malaysia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate progress in the 1BestariNet Program. The MoU involves introducing Intel-based integrated 4G laptop and tablet solutions supporting Chrome and Android for the education sector in Malaysia.
[Exchanging of MoU documents between Intel Malaysia & YTL Communications (L-R) Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Francis Yeoh, Managing Director YTL Group of Companies; Gregory Bryant, Vice President and General Manager, Intel APAC and Japan]
It is unclear which Chrome and Android devices will be offered as part of the 1BestariNet Program via the MoU. Intel is a semiconductor chip maker. It powers up the some of the Android & Chromebook devices, but at the moment Intel does produce any Android or Chrome devices in the market.
1BestariNet is a project initiated by the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE) and carried out in partnership with YTL Communications.
Under the project, 10,000 primary and secondary public schools in Malaysia will be equipped with high-speed 4G Internet access and a virtual learning platform from YTL. According to its website, the vision of 1BestariNet is to transform education in Malaysia and bridge the digital divide between rural and urban students by making quality, Internet-enabled education available to all Malaysians.
As part of the 1BestariNet program, YTL gets to install its own radio base station on school compounds nationwide to provide Internet service to teachers, students, and possibly serve its own paid Yes4G customers up to 3km-5km surrounding the schools. The project will cost the Malaysian taxpayer RM1.5 billion (nearly US$500 million) at least, and would take 13 years.
To date, Yes4G has about 700,000 subscribers.
“At YTL Communications, we believe that access to knowledge via quality Internet connectivity should be readily available to all Malaysians, particularly Malaysia’s next generation. Since 2011, we have been working to equip more than 10,000 primary and secondary government schools nationwide with high-speed 4G Internet connectivity on our Yes 4G network and a proven cloud-based virtual learning platform, the Frog Virtual Learning Environment (Frog VLE) via the 1BestariNet program,” said Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr.) Francis Yeoh, Managing Director, YTL Group of Companies.
“We’re impressed by Intel’s technology innovation in enabling next generation mobile devices and the substantial efforts they are putting into the Chrome and Android ecosystem. Having brought the first 4G Chromebook to Malaysia with Google, we now will further proliferate more 4G devices including tablets and others. Towards that end, we are looking forward to partnering with Intel to bring innovative 4G Intel Architecture based devices to Malaysia to enable next generation learning and other applications,” Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr.) Francis Yeoh added.
“Intel believes in the power of education to change lives,” said Gregory Bryant, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group and General Manager, Intel APAC and Japan. “The right technology solutions are essential in order to realize that power,” he continued. “Intel has been in Malaysia for over forty years, and is proud to work with YTL Communications in helping realize the country’s goal of education transformation.”
“We recognize YTL’s strong vision in using its nationwide 4G network to enable an Internet based economy in Malaysia. What it is doing in education through the 1BestariNet is a great example of that. With Intel’s focus in education and its firm commitment in technology innovation in powering up the next generation of mobile devices, our partnership with YTL Communications will help bring the benefits of Mobile Internet to more Malaysians,” Bryant said.
This hardware program isn’t the only initiative that Intel provides in support of taking the teaching and learning process to the next level. Intel has also been running programs to support teacher and student development alike though programs including the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), The Intel Higher Education Program and Intel Teach Program.