Govt to award NFCP 1 to licensees in January 2020 involving 8 states

The states to be involved are Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Terengganu and Sabah

by ASILA JALIL/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE first phase for the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) will be awarded to successful licensees next month, involving 153 locations in eight states.

The states to be involved in this phase are Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Terengganu and Sabah.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said various discussions were held between industry players and the government regarding wide expansion of the infrastructure in a short time and at a low cost.

He also applauded the cooperation given by state governments and local authorities to expedite relevant approval process at the state level for NFCP-related initiatives, including fee reduction.

“Another success we can see from the NFCP is the cooperation given by all state governments. Previously, it would take a long time to receive approvals for the development of infrastructure at state levels and those initiatives came at a high cost as well.

“We have overcome the challenges following discussions between the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and state governments, and we have received approval in a short time which is a move that will greatly benefit us,” he told a press conference at MCMC office in Cyberjaya yesterday.

The selected licensees for NFCP 1 are required to instal network facilities and deploy network services for the provisioning of public cellular services using 3G and 4G technologies with an average speed of 30Mbps.

Meanwhile, MCMC has issued the request for proposal for NFCP 2 on Nov 15 and the licensees will have to submit their bids by March 31 next year.

The second phase of the plan involves 500 locations comprising 210 mukim in 10 states namely Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak.

MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said industry players have agreed to collaborate in relation to infrastructure sharing and coordinate their planning to reduce the service cost that would eventually benefit the customers.

“We are starting with the lowest hanging fruit which is mobile towers for communications. NFCP 1 comprises 153 locations and NFCP 2 has approximately 500 locations across the country and most importantly in underserved areas.

“NFCP aims to ensure that 98% of populated areas in Malaysia achieve 30 Mbps on average,” he said.

Among the areas covered in other phases of NFCP are fibre optics, installations and satellite coverage, among others, said Al-Ishsal.

The NFCP is projected to cost RM21.6 billion over five years and involves the development of various infrastructure projects nationwide. It is aimed at widening the coverage of high-quality and high-speed broadband Internet nationally, while also ensuring affordable services.

The project will be equally funded by the Universal Service Provision fund and telecommunication companies operating in Malaysia.