Telcos urged to share Sarawak masterplans

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KUCHING: Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) hopes that major telecommunication providers in the country will invest more in Sarawak to provide better coverage and services to the people.

“We also hope that telecommunication providers such as Maxis could provide us with its five-year master plan so that we can assist it with its strategic planning,” said SMA general manager Dr Zaidi Razak to a Maxis delegation who visited SMA office here led by Maxis Chief Network Officer Abdul Karim Fakir Ali.

He added that the masterplan is crucial for the relevant authorities including SMA to decide where to build the towers.

“What we want to do with the masterplan is enable us to ‘lock’ the sites which will take into account the future development of the State. For instance, we also have a master plan in Kuching, which includes zoning such as commercial and marketplace zoning. We also have residential zoning.

“That’s why we need the masterplan, not only from Maxis but also from other telecommunication providers such as Celcom, DiGi and U Mobile, where they want to put up the towers. In this way, we can put up the request to the State Planning Authority (SPA) for approval. That’s the reason why we need the master plan,” he reiterated.

Furthermore, Zaidi also disclosed that SMA is working closely with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to provide better communication services in Sarawak.

On a related issue, he highlighted the fact that communications towers in remote areas in Sarawak are susceptible to power outages which will affect the communication network.

“We know the challenges we have in Sarawak. For example, if the network is suddenly down in Kapit, for two to three hours, nobody will know unless we have a remote sensing trigger device.

“We will only know if the site is down a day later when people relay the message to us. That’s one of the challenges that we face. So, I hope the network providers will look into this matter,” he said.

Zaidi commended Maxis’ efforts for putting up their sensor devices to monitor its network in Sarawak.

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