Telecommunication projects in state to be intensified

Dr Zaidi Razak

By Nur Shazreena Ali & Sarah Hafizah

KUCHING: Telecommunication projects in Sarawak will be intensified this year, says Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) general manager Dr Zaidi Razak.

“Although telecommunication is under federal, the state government has decided that there must be state intervention to ramp up the communication infrastructure in Sarawak,” he said when asked by the media on the commitment of the telecommunication service providers to the state’s rural areas.

He said SMA together with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Sarawak had made some arrangements with telecommunication service providers and operators on the best business model to be implemented.

While stating that providing such service in rural areas was imperative, Zaidi stressed that the procurement process was complicated as it involved specific technical tasks.

“To date, over 230 communication towers have been constructed statewide, and we are now in the second tender procurement exercise, which is to supply the equipment to the tower.

“The procurement requires technical tasks that need to be carried out. It involves where and how we will erect the communication tower, based on network topology because we have to consider the hub and the collector.”

He also said the communication infrastructure must be developed in an ecosystem that is sustainable.

“As service provider, we need to understand that their main will be the economics of scale. To serve an area, their focus of course would be the ROI (return of investment).

“That is why we are here, to serve the rakyat. And along the way, we have to practice accountability and transparency of procurement.

“We cannot just appoint one party when awarding the service. Everything is open tender specification.”