Malaysia JENDELA broadband project on track for 2025 completion

Malaysia JENDELA broadband project on track for 2025 completion

Malaysia's communications minister says the government’s National Digital Network (a.k.a. JENDELA) programme to upgrade its broadband infrastructure is on track to be completed by the end of next year, with much of the work already done.

According to The Edge Malaysia, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said that of the 3,884 new telecoms towers planned under JENDELA, 2,395 have been built and activated as of the end of January. Meanwhile, 39,983 transmitter stations (out of a planned 40,214) have been upgraded.

On the fixed-line side, Fahmi said 3.32 million premises out of a planned 4.19 million have been equipped with fibre optic connectivity, the report said.

The RM21 billion (US$4.4 billion) JENDELA (Jalinan Digital Negara) initiative was launched in 2020 as part of the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) with the goal of achieving 100% broadband connectivity in populated areas by the end of 2025, as well as expanding use of 5G.

Malaysia’s single wholesale 5G network operator Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) achieved just over 80% of populated areas as of December 31. That cleared the way for the government’s plan to introduce a second 5G operator later this year.

During a Q&A session in Dewan Rakyat on Monday, according to the report, Fahmi said all planned JENDELA initiatives “are expected to be completed and operational in stages by the end of 2025.”

Meanwhile, Fahmi also said in the same session that 169 ‘naked’ towers in Sarawak (that is, telecoms towers with no equipment on them) have been successfully reactivated between January 1 and March 22 this year.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and telco companies have been allocated a government budget of RM206.98 million to activate 600 naked towers in Sarawak.

Of the remaining 431 towers, telcos are ready to take up and operate 297 of them, the report said Another 44 towers are under construction, while 59 are being transferred to new locations, and 31 face location-overlapping issues, Fahmi said.

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