Rural Sarawak to get high-speed broadband with nation’s first MOCN tower

A file photo of Abang Johari. The commissioning of the tower was launched by Sarawak’s Chief Minister recently to enable folks in the rural area to enjoy 3G and 4G network coverage, SMA said in a statement. — Bernama

KUCHING: Residents of Luban Ulu in Sarawak’s Betong, a rural settlement located about 270km from Kuching, can now enjoy a rich Internet experience following the commissioning of a Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) Rural Telecommunication (SMART) tower in the area.

The commissioning of the tower was launched by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg recently to enable folks in the rural area to enjoy 3G and 4G network coverage, SMA said in a statement today.

It said the tower became the first in the country to employ the Multi-Operator Core Network (MOCN) platform, which had the capacity to accommodate multiple service operators in a singular gateway to serve their user bases.

“This is against the conventional approach of each mobile service provider installing their own home network system on a telecommunication tower. Depending on the terrain, a SMART tower is capable of providing fast broadband speed coverage up to a 3km radius,” it said.

The MOCN platform approach was chosen after considering the operational complexity and cost structure of rural telecommunication deployment, which would not only optimise resources but also allow for cost-efficient installation, maintenance and future upgrades.

The Luban Ulu SMART tower came as the first of the 300 towers that SMA planned to erect and commissioned in the state rural areas under its SMA 300 tower programme under the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022.

SMA general manager, Dr Zaidi Razak said the authority would continue to work with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and all the mobile service providers to enhance digital connectivity in rural Sarawak.

“The Authority has always emphasised a close private-public sector relationship to enable Sarawak to leapfrog into the digital economy,” he added.

SMA is a regulatory body established pursuant to Section 3 of the Sarawak Multimedia Authority Ordinance 2017, with the primary objective of spearheading, overseeing and facilitating the development and implementation of the state communication, multimedia and digital economy initiatives. – Bernama

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