The implementation of the National Digital Network Plan (Jendela) Phase 1 (2020-2022) has surpassed its set network coverage area, mobile network speed and fibre connectivity targets.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chief operating officer Datuk Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus said Jendela Phase 1 which concluded today, saw 7.74 milion premises installed with fibre internet connections, exceeding its 7.5 million initial target.

He said with the conclusion too, 96.92 per cent of populated areas now have 4G network coverage and mobile networks speed achieving an average of 116.03 megabits per second (Mbps).

The initial target set for 4G network coverage was 96.9 per cent and the target for mobile network speed was set at 35 Mbps.

“The most important step now is to achieve a certain level and maintain it at that level or go even higher,” he said at a virtual media and analyst briefing on Jendela Phase 1 concluding report today.

Mohd Ali Hanafiah said Phase 2 implementation would commence soonest during the third quarter (Q3) of this year, or latest by the fourth quarter (Q4).

However, he said there are hurdles to be overcome before Phase 2 is implemented which includes the transition from a single wholesale network model to dual wholesale network, as announced recently.

“The government has conducted a review where the single wholesale network policy will continue only until we reach 80 per cent (5G coverage) at the end of this year.

“After that we will migrate to dual-network. What the government has done is to set up a taskforce that meets every two weeks. The task force will go through all issues and hurdles,” he said.

The existing Reference Access Offer (RAO) may also need to be updated or replaced as it was only meant for a single wholesale network model by design, he added.

“Once it becomes dual entity, it will be different from the RAO that we have today which is based on a single wholesale network model. This is in fact one of the items being discussed by the taskforce at the moment,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had earlier announced that the nation’s 5G rollout will switch to a dual wholesale network model once the network under Digital Nasional Bhd reaches 80 per cent coverage of populated areas to ensure quality 5G network.

In today’s briefing, Mohd Ali Hanafiah also announced that 5G network coverage in populated areas now stands at 57.9 per cent.

He said MCMC was confident that the 80 per cent target by yearend could be achieved, though 5G network adoption was still low with only 1.2 million users or 3.1 per cent as of last March.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency