Striving to provide 5G services to rural areas

Abang Johari speaks to reporters at a press conference after launching ‘Miri Smart City — Proof of Concept’.

MIRI: The state government is committed to speeding up the deployment of 5G technology all over Sarawak.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said towards that objective, there will be discussions between the federal and state governments on the allocation of broader and stronger frequency spectrum.

He believed that a bigger spectrum allocated to Sarawak would make it possible to deploy 5G services in the rural areas.

“I was made to understand that in order to implement 5G telecommunications networks, we need more than 700 MHz frequency band.

“Much of this spectrum is used and managed by telecommunication companies such as Celcom, Digi and others, some of which are reluctant to operate in remote areas where the market is too small or non-existent,” he said on Monday (Apr 12).

Abang Johari said these during a press conference after he launched ‘Miri Smart City — Proof of Concept’ at a leading hotel here.

“We are asking the federal government to allocate a spectrum to a Sarawak state agency, the Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) to manage the rural side of it while the state government will subsidise the cost,” he said.

Concerning the coming state election, Abang Johari, who is Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, was asked whether the coalition could and would allow the fielding of candidates from their federal-level ally, Bersatu.

He was, however, not in the mood for politics, so he simply said, “Today I don’t want to hear about politics. I am here to launch the city’s smart programme.”

Still, he went to state that Sarawak does not have any political issues, and as journalists did not press the issue further, the media conference ended shortly after that.