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Sarawak to invest RM1 billion to construct more Telco Towers

Citing the need to develop further in the digital economy, the chief minister of Sarawak announced the state’s plan to invest RM1 billion in the construction of more telecommunication infrastructure, increasing the number of communication towers from the current 1,200 to over 5,000.

“For Sarawak to have adequate network coverage, 1,000 towers are not enough. Not even 2,000 towers. I want 5,000 towers in Sarawak. We must reach every settlement and close the gap and cover all blind spots,” he said.

Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said the average wired network speed for Sarawak was 4 megabits per second (Mbps) per household, which is nearly seven times slower than South Korea’s average network speed of 29 Mbps per household.

He said the state government “must take the lead” in driving the development of physical ICT infrastructure, rather than depend on commercial operators and service providers.

The investment includes “opening up the field” to more commercial operators and embracing data transmission by optical fibre links.

Abang Johari added the state may also set up its own Sarawak Multimedia and Communications Authority. Also in the pipeline were plans for a digital village in Samajaya, which Abang Johari said would be the state’s version of California’s Silicon Valley.

Sarawak currently has about 1,200 communication towers. Broadband coverage in Sarawak reaches 51.8% of households, while among the populated areas, broadband coverage is 72.1% with blind spots. There is almost no coverage for sparsely-populated areas.

Sarawak’s population is around 2.7 million people.

[Link]– Full Story on Free Malaysia Today

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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