Foreign investors can click on to Sarawak’s surging internet growth

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Internet use in Malaysia grew 40 per cent in the first part of 2011. And with vast potential for penetration in Sarawak, investors are being encouraged to become involved in the globe’s greatest internet growth areas.

Foreign investors eyeing Sarawak’s IT landscape are gazing upon one of the greatest Internet growth areas in the world, according to the head of Sacofa, the state government’s telecommunication infrastructure arm. Dato lr. Abang Jemat Abang Bujang, Chief Executive Officer of Sacofa  (Sarawak Common Communication Facilities) said internet use in Malaysia surged more than 40 per cent in early 2011, with Sarawak playing an integral part.

“The greatest boom for the internet is now here with growth in Malaysia better than any other country in Asia,” said Jemat. “And it is going to grow even more as we work with the Indonesian government to link Sarawak to Jakarta and Pontianak [in Borneo].”

Sacofa, which was set up in 2001 as a Government-Linked Company (GLC), provides technology and IT development through towers, land and fibre optic cables. Its primary objectives are to build and expand the provision of telecommunication network infrastructures throughout Sarawak and connect it with the outside world.

Linking the World

In April 2011, Celcom Axiata Bhd hired Sacofa to strengthen its cellular and data network coverage in Sarawak to 85 per cent from 70 per cent in a deal worth RM168 million. The proposed link between Sarawak’s capital Kuching and Indonesia’s Pontianak is crucial to a growth explosion in the regional market to support planned fibre optic networks that connect Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Dato Abang Jemat said the time was ripe for investment in Sarawak from the Middle East with the federal and state governments implementing policies to enhance the investment environment. Among the aims is to ensure 100 per cent broadband penetration nationwide by 2020. “The infrastructure doesn’t bring in the money, what brings in the money is what comes out of this,” said Dato Abang Jemat.

“It can help intellectual capital so the climate is suitable for foreign investments. We can attract investors from the Middle East as we are well located geographically, there are no dangers from natural disasters, and we have a stable political environment and good energy provisions.”

Sarawak will also have greater connectivity to other countries in the region and the state can offer competitive prices in terms of labour and setting up costs. Already many companies have bought into Sarawak’s various industries, including the Samalaju Industrial Park and Tanjung Manis Halal Hub.

Sacofa, which is 85 per cent owned by government agencies with 15 per cent belonging to Celcom Axiata, has 3000km of fibre optic cables, including the East-West Submarine Cable System that links east and west Malaysia. Sacofa also owns 500 towers in strategic locations covering 70 per cent of the state. Under the national government’s Universal Service Provider project to develop and improve communications infrastructure, 200 more towers will be built in developing regions at a cost of RM250 million.

The GLC, which celebrates 10 years in 2011, enjoys fibre network connectivity with Brunei and an underwater cable system to Mersing, Johor on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia.

Using the latest technology such as 4G LTE, Sacofa is keen to expand.

“We are ambitious and want to go beyond the shores of Sarawak and provide alternative broadband services to West Malaysia, Brunei, Kalimantan and even to other Southeast Asian countries, Hong Kong, China and Japan,” said Dato Abang Jemat. “Our fibre optic network is fully managed by the Network Monitoring System (NMS). With this, we can provide speeds not seen in this part of the world. All the people, even in the longhouses, will have access to the internet.”

Sacofa is well into phase four of a six-stage road map outlining the company’s objectives until 2013. The phase involves the fiberisation of all communication towers throughout Sarawak. Phase five provides for setting up an Alternative Regional Communication Hub while phase six calls on Sacofa to investigate the creation of a data centre and cloud computing possibilities. The towers and fibre-optic networks ensure that bandwidth for internet use is affordable and readily available to all service providers on a sharing basis.

“These low-cost infrastructures will attract more investors to come to Sarawak and will subsequently increase the penetration of broadband services,” said Dato Abang Jemat.

Sacofa’s significance to broadband and communications in Sarawak is recognised by Malaysia’s leading telcos. Major players such as Telekom, Celcom, Maxis and Digi rely on Sacofa’s T2 Towers for their coverage.

Dato Abang Jemat said investors from Middle East can make use of world-class communications systems that are safe, fast, cost-efficient and scalable to meet their expanding business needs

“With the government’s high-speed broadband initiative, the environment has changed,” said Dato Abang Jemat.

“The issues over the next few years would be preparing the network to support and meet the demands of huge bandwidth at cheaper rates.”

In terms of a global presence, Sacofa took part in the My Regional Network initiative to boost international connectivity.

“Sacofa aims to offer our submarine cable to be part of a consortium network and to lobby for direct international cable landing to Sarawak,” said Dato Abang Jemat.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Internet use in Malaysia grew 40 per cent in the first part of 2011. And with vast potential for penetration in Sarawak, investors are being encouraged to become involved in the globe’s greatest internet growth areas.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Internet use in Malaysia grew 40 per cent in the first part of 2011. And with vast potential for penetration in Sarawak, investors are being encouraged to become involved in the globe’s greatest internet growth areas.

Foreign investors eyeing Sarawak’s IT landscape are gazing upon one of the greatest Internet growth areas in the world, according to the head of Sacofa, the state government’s telecommunication infrastructure arm. Dato lr. Abang Jemat Abang Bujang, Chief Executive Officer of Sacofa  (Sarawak Common Communication Facilities) said internet use in Malaysia surged more than 40 per cent in early 2011, with Sarawak playing an integral part.

“The greatest boom for the internet is now here with growth in Malaysia better than any other country in Asia,” said Jemat. “And it is going to grow even more as we work with the Indonesian government to link Sarawak to Jakarta and Pontianak [in Borneo].”

Sacofa, which was set up in 2001 as a Government-Linked Company (GLC), provides technology and IT development through towers, land and fibre optic cables. Its primary objectives are to build and expand the provision of telecommunication network infrastructures throughout Sarawak and connect it with the outside world.

Linking the World

In April 2011, Celcom Axiata Bhd hired Sacofa to strengthen its cellular and data network coverage in Sarawak to 85 per cent from 70 per cent in a deal worth RM168 million. The proposed link between Sarawak’s capital Kuching and Indonesia’s Pontianak is crucial to a growth explosion in the regional market to support planned fibre optic networks that connect Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Dato Abang Jemat said the time was ripe for investment in Sarawak from the Middle East with the federal and state governments implementing policies to enhance the investment environment. Among the aims is to ensure 100 per cent broadband penetration nationwide by 2020. “The infrastructure doesn’t bring in the money, what brings in the money is what comes out of this,” said Dato Abang Jemat.

“It can help intellectual capital so the climate is suitable for foreign investments. We can attract investors from the Middle East as we are well located geographically, there are no dangers from natural disasters, and we have a stable political environment and good energy provisions.”

Sarawak will also have greater connectivity to other countries in the region and the state can offer competitive prices in terms of labour and setting up costs. Already many companies have bought into Sarawak’s various industries, including the Samalaju Industrial Park and Tanjung Manis Halal Hub.

Sacofa, which is 85 per cent owned by government agencies with 15 per cent belonging to Celcom Axiata, has 3000km of fibre optic cables, including the East-West Submarine Cable System that links east and west Malaysia. Sacofa also owns 500 towers in strategic locations covering 70 per cent of the state. Under the national government’s Universal Service Provider project to develop and improve communications infrastructure, 200 more towers will be built in developing regions at a cost of RM250 million.

The GLC, which celebrates 10 years in 2011, enjoys fibre network connectivity with Brunei and an underwater cable system to Mersing, Johor on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia.

Using the latest technology such as 4G LTE, Sacofa is keen to expand.

“We are ambitious and want to go beyond the shores of Sarawak and provide alternative broadband services to West Malaysia, Brunei, Kalimantan and even to other Southeast Asian countries, Hong Kong, China and Japan,” said Dato Abang Jemat. “Our fibre optic network is fully managed by the Network Monitoring System (NMS). With this, we can provide speeds not seen in this part of the world. All the people, even in the longhouses, will have access to the internet.”

Sacofa is well into phase four of a six-stage road map outlining the company’s objectives until 2013. The phase involves the fiberisation of all communication towers throughout Sarawak. Phase five provides for setting up an Alternative Regional Communication Hub while phase six calls on Sacofa to investigate the creation of a data centre and cloud computing possibilities. The towers and fibre-optic networks ensure that bandwidth for internet use is affordable and readily available to all service providers on a sharing basis.

“These low-cost infrastructures will attract more investors to come to Sarawak and will subsequently increase the penetration of broadband services,” said Dato Abang Jemat.

Sacofa’s significance to broadband and communications in Sarawak is recognised by Malaysia’s leading telcos. Major players such as Telekom, Celcom, Maxis and Digi rely on Sacofa’s T2 Towers for their coverage.

Dato Abang Jemat said investors from Middle East can make use of world-class communications systems that are safe, fast, cost-efficient and scalable to meet their expanding business needs

“With the government’s high-speed broadband initiative, the environment has changed,” said Dato Abang Jemat.

“The issues over the next few years would be preparing the network to support and meet the demands of huge bandwidth at cheaper rates.”

In terms of a global presence, Sacofa took part in the My Regional Network initiative to boost international connectivity.

“Sacofa aims to offer our submarine cable to be part of a consortium network and to lobby for direct international cable landing to Sarawak,” said Dato Abang Jemat.

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