4G coverage in Sabah increases to 87.6%

This is an increase of 14.14% before the implementation of Jendela in the state

by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / graphic TMR

THE percentage of 4G coverage in Sabah has increased to 87.55% in the second quarter of this year (2Q22) compared to 73.41% previously, before the implementation of the National Digital Network Plan (Jendela), Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said.

He said this in the Dewan Rakyat today in response to a question from Datuk Seri Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort) regarding the latest status on the installation of satellite broadband in Sabah as internet access is still poor and has been a problem in the state, especially in rural areas.

“Under the Jendela Phase 1 programme in Sabah, of the 614 new tower sites approved, a total of 142 were completed while for the satellite broadband level, 138 projects were completed, as of 2Q22,” he said.

Meanwhile, Annuar said the delay for 5G access services for users occurred was due to only four telecommunications companies (telcos) accepting and becoming Digital Nasional Bhd’s (DNB) shareholders compared to six companies who were offered to become shareholders.

He added that the process took quite some time and the supply for 5G services could only be obtained after all the four companies signed the access agreement.

“Due to change in plan, the four telco companies that accepted the offer had to get back to their respective boards (directors) for approval of the additional shares that were not taken up by the other two telcos,” he said.

On another note, Annuar clarified that the percentage of 5G access that is targeted to reach 40% by the end of the year was in reference to the provision of infrastructure by DNB, and currently, the service is available at more than 2,000 locations.

“However, the service can only be provided by licenced telcos,” he said in response to a supplementary question from Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) who wanted an explanation on the percentage of 5G access in major towns as many have yet to enjoy the facility, especially in Petaling Jaya.