Sacofa looks to boost telecom, rural Internet connectivity with inking of two MOUs

Abang Johari (third right) officiates at the MOU signing ceremony between Sacofa and Danawa and PPTEL at the IDECS 2020. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

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KUCHING, Oct 7: Sacofa Sdn Bhd today signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Danawa Resources Sdn Bhd (Danawa) and PP Telecommunication Sdn Bhd (PPTEL) respectively to form strategic collaborations to further enhance and broaden the coverage of telecommunications services in Sarawak.

The exchange of MOU documents was witnessed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2020 here today.

According to Sacofa managing director Zaid Zaini, the MOU with Danawa will explore collaboration on fixed wireless access to provide Internet connectivity to rural communities within Sarawak while the PPTEL MOU will explore collaboration on telecommunications infrastructure initiatives.

“These collaborations are aimed to further improve and expand the implementation of wired and wireless Internet services in the Sarawak, in support of the state government’s vision for Sarawak where all sections of society would enjoy the benefits of digital connectivity.

“This is the way forward for Sarawak’s telecommunications ecosystem where the industry players will work together and collectively draw on each others’ strengths for the greater good of the state and its people,” Zaid said.

Sarawak with its large geographical area and low population density presents a challenging environment for the roll-out of telecommunications services.

As homegrown Sarawak-based industry players, Zaid said SACOFA is coming together with others to collaborate on improving telecom facilities and services as well as avoid duplication of resources.

“We have always been focused on delivering on the Sarawak government’s agenda, especially on the backbone of the digital economy as envisioned by Abang Johari. With the establishment of these strategic collaborations, we are more dedicated than ever to improving Sarawak’s telecommunications industry,” he added.

Zaid asserted that PPTEL will play a pivotal role in building the underlying infrastructure to support the digital economy, giving Sarawak access to global Internet content through new high capacity submarine connectivity.

These cables will provide new and alternative routings into the global market and allow access to PPTEL’s Tier 4 Data Centre located Kuching, which is expected to launch in 2021.

“This local presence will reduce delays in the network, providing an attractive edge location for application providers to host services. With this infrastructure, PPTEL aims to become an alternative hub to existing hubs in the region (such as Singapore and Hong Kong) with all the benefits of Sarawak’s green energy and available space.

“PPTEL is already offering secure IP transit services to meet the current surge in demand for data seen from retail and enterprise customers, and is ready for the expected growth over the coming decade,” Zaid pointed.

These services he added, will be accessible throughout Sarawak in collaboration with Sarawak Energy Berhad’s terrestrial fibre infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Danawa managing director Abdul Rahman Sepawie said the MOU will further expedite and smoothen the roll out of high-speed Internet broadband network throughout remote areas of the state that will benefit the rural community significantly.

“In return, this will complement the state government’s agenda in digitalising the state’s economy and thus bringing the rural community closer to the world,” Abdul Rahman said. — DayakDaily