Monday, March 27, 2023

MCMC: Less than 1.3k Public PayPhones Nationwide, RM9.4 billion in USP Fund

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) released its 2017 Universal Service Provision (USP) Annual Report recently.

MCMC Universal Service Provision Fund USP

Established under Section 204 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USP Fund) was implemented to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas as well as between the fortunate and the less fortunate.

In its 103 pages of 2017 USP Annual Report, MCMC said it completed the following initiatives:

  • Internet Centre: 850 locations (92 locations in 2017)
  • Community Wifi: 2,502 locations (311 locations in 2017)
  • Telephony: 1,252 units
  • New Communication Towers: 1,664 (262 locations in 2017)
  • Upgrade of Existing Towers: 3,978 locations (1,928 locations in 2017)
  • Rural Broadband: 36,799 ports (20,224 ports in 2017)
  • SubUrban Broadband: 366,294 ports (160,216 ports in 2017)
  • Upgrade of Fiber Optic Network: 562km (56km in 2017)
  • Submarine Cable System: 3,819km (2,274km in 2017)
  • Smart Device with Internet Package: 2,428,160 units (748,667 units in 2017)

Internet Centre

MCMC said that as of 31 December 2017, a total of 850 Internet Centres have been completed and fully operational nationwide. Of these, 92 Internet Centres were implemented in 2017.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]The Internet Centre provides collective internet access facilities with a very minimal charges including ICT and entrepreneurship trainings oered for free to all Internet Centre members. The Internet Centre also provides additional services such as printing, photocopying, scanning and lamination.

The implementation of the Internet Centre focuses on underserved areas such as rural areas and to underserved groups such as communities living in low-cost housing areas throughout the country.

The Internet Centre provides many benets especially to students who make up the majority of Internet Centre’s users in enhancing the level of IT literacy as well as a hub to access information on education, employment, agriculture and health.

Various programmes are also being organised at the Internet Centre such as internet awareness and security programme through Klik Dengan Bijak campaign, a programme tailored for the maker community through MyMaker programme, a free health screening program through Kospen (Komuniti Sihat Pembina Negara) programme and various other community programmes. [/box]

Community Wifi

As at 31 December 2017, 2,502 locations have Wifi coverage. Of these, Wifi coverage were deployed in 311 locations in 2017.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]

Community WiFi (WK) provides hotspot internet access service in selected locations within 3 kilometres from the Internet Centre. WK services are constantly being monitored from time to time by Internet Centre Manager who are also responsible for monitoring WK’s performance.

Communities living nearby the Internet Centre can benet from this free wireless internet access for online businesses as well as practicing ICT knowledge from Internet Centre programmes.[/box]


As at 31 December 2017, 1,252 units of public payphones are still operating and maintained throughout the country.

Number of public payphones installed by state:

  • Sarawak: 896
  • Pahang: 76
  • Sabah: 68
  • Terengganu: 51
  • Kelantan: 50
  • Kedah: 31
  • Melaka: 27
  • Johor: 24
  • Perak: 14
  • Selangor: 12
  • Negeri Sembilan: 3

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]

The Telephony initiative, which began in 2002, is aimed at providing access to basic telephony facilities collectively in underserved areas throughout the country.

The implementation of this initiative involves the installation of public payphones focusing on areas where the basic telephony penetration rate is 20% below the national penetration rate.

Although the demand and usage of public payphones has declined due to the development of mobile phone technology, the Commission will continue to maintain it as long as there is still demand especially in rural areas. [/box]

New Communication Towers

As at 31 December 2017, a total of 1,664 new communication towers have been successfully built and activated throughout the country. Of these, 262 new communications towers were built and activated in 2017.

Upgrade of Existing Towers

As at 31 December 2017, 3,978 existing communication tower’s base transceiver stations have been upgraded nationwide. Of these, 1,928 base transceiver stations were upgraded in 2017

Total Communucations Tower Upgraded nationwide, to date:

  • Sabah: 940
  • Sarawak: 859
  • Pahang: 561
  • Perak: 376
  • Johor: 368
  • Kelantan: 233
  • Negeri Sembilan: 190
  • Terengganu: 177
  • Kedah: 157
  • Melaka: 67
  • Perlis: 22
  • Selangor: 21
  • Pulau Pinang: 6
  • Labuan: 1

MCMC also revealed that a total of RM1.31 billion was “recognised as income” for the USP Fund for 2017. This is based on the Return of Net Revenue submitted by licensees as well as interest income.

The major contributors to the USP Fund in 2017 are: Celcom Network, Digi Telecommunications, edotco Malaysia, Maxis Broadband, Maxis Mobile, Telekom Malaysia, TT dotcom (TIME), Sacofa and YTL Comm.

MCMC said that a total amount of RM1.24 billion was used by service providers in 2017 for the implementation of USP projects.

At the end of 2017, there some RM9.4 billion in the USP fund.

[Download PDF]– MCMC 2017 Universal Service Provision (USP) Annual Report

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

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