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“Internet Hotspot Tower” using Bamboo Poles in Pitas

Folks in Kampung Mengkapon, Pitas, Sabah are making their own “Internet hotspot tower” using bamboo poles as they are unable to get good mobile signal/coverage at their home.

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According to “F Leo Imanuel” in his public Facebook posting on October 7, a smartphone with Internet hotspot (turned on) is placed within an empty water bottle and tied/hang to a bamboo pole, about 20m high, to get a better mobile signal. In his video, these home-made “bamboo towers” can be found outside the homes of those living in Kampung Mengkapon, Pitas.

Check out the Facebook video below:

 

He also posted another Facebook video where a tall tree was used to set up the “hotspot tower”:

 

While the method is creative, MalaysianWireless notes that a smartphone baterry may explode or catch fire under hot weather conditions and the method may be dangerous. Smartphones that are not IP rated may be damaged by water due to rain.

In another related Facebook posting, F Leo Imanuel shared there is a Telecommunication tower near Pitas which he claim belongs to Celcom. He said that the tower runs on generator and its always down.

District chief Mohd Zinin Andong Ajak said some villagers had no choice but to resort to such tactics as cellular telephone services in Pitas were spotty at best.

“There is no cellular telephone signal in some of them. So, in villages where the signals are weak, the kampung folks have hoisted up their phones to get signals. They are already considered lucky,” he said, reporting by FMT news.

It is reported there are 124 kampungs in Pitas, which covers about twice the size of Penang island.

Following the Facebook postings, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) made the following statement:

Susulan kisah penduduk di Kampung Mengkapon, Pitas, Sabah yang terpaksa menggunakan pelbagai kaedah kreatif untuk mendapat liputan Internet tular di media sosial, Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC) ingin memaklumkan, pelbagai usaha giat telah diambil bagi memastikan kesalinghubungan di kawasan berkenaan sekaligus memberi kemudahan kepada penduduk setempat di sana.

Di bawah Pelan Gentian Optik dan Kesalinghubungan Negara (NFCP) 1, sebanyak 50 menara telekomunikasi baharu akan didirikan di Sabah. Daripada jumlah tersebut, 13 menara baharu akan didirikan di Pitas. Kampung Mengkapon telah dikenal pasti sebagai salah satu lokasi untuk pembinaan menara berkenaan.

Kerja-kerja pembinaan menara baharu ini telahpun dimulakan. Pada masa ini, pihak penyedia perkhidmatan yang dilantik sedang dalam proses memohon kelulusan daripada pihak Jabatan Tanah dan Ukur (JTU) Sabah sebelum kerja-kerja dimulakan di tapak-tapak yang telah dipilih. Mengambil kira proses kelulusan, pembinaan menara dan pemasangan alat pemancar, adalah dijangkakan pembinaan menara akan siap dan beroperasi dalam tempoh antara enam (6) hingga 12 bulan. Dalam hal ini, kerjasama dari pihak Kerajaan Negeri juga amat diperlukan dari segi kelulusan untuk mempercepatkan pelaksanaan projek ini.

MCMC sentiasa prihatin dengan keluhan masyarakat berkaitan kemudahan telekomunikasi terutamanya di luar bandar dan melakukan usaha berterusan untuk merapatkan jurang digital di seluruh negara.

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Pitas came into the limelight in June when 18-year-old Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) student Veveonah Mosibin, recorded a video clip of her climbing a tree near her house at Kampung Sabanalang to get a better cellular signal so she could sit for her exam during the COVID-19 lockdown period. At the time of writing, it is believed that Veveonah Mosibin is still getting poor mobile signal at her home.

About Kugan

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