Microsoft has partnered with the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), UiTM Holdings and AxiCom to help extend broadband connectivity to rural communities in Malaysia, in accordance with the MyDIGITAL frame.
As part of a pilot project, the first TV White Space (TVWS) technology has been installed in Parit Sulong town in Johor, enabling businesses and local communities to access improved internet services while removing dependency poor 4G and LTE coverage.
With the aim of achieving an “inclusive, responsible and sustainable” digital economy, AxiCom has become the first Malaysian provider to complete the TVWS trial with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
“We are delighted to play a crucial role in this partnership with a focus on bringing high quality solutions by combining experience, innovation and cutting-edge multimedia and technology for users in rural Malaysia. “said Syamsul Azly Akbar, CEO of AxiCom.
“We believe TVWS will be a game-changer to benefit rural communities where broadband access is a challenge and ensure their seamless integration into the digital economy. With digital transformation being an important catalyst for Malaysia’s inclusive economic recovery, MyDIGITAL will enable Malaysia to take advantage of the breadth of opportunities afforded by technology. »
Trial with MCMC is also part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiativewhich works with partners to advance digital equity – specifically access to “affordable internet, affordable devices and digital skills” – as a platform for digital transformation in Malaysia and beyond.
“Internet access is fundamental to a digitally-driven economy like Malaysia,” added K Raman, Malaysia Managing Director at Microsoft. “It reflects Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
From a technology perspective, TVWS leverages unused broadcast frequencies – 400 MHz to 700 MHz UHF bands – between TV stations that can act as a fixed wireless service with wide coverage. A TVWS signal can penetrate through more walls and obstacles, allowing for whole-home media distribution, unlike a Wi-Fi signal which can only penetrate up to two walls.
UiTM Holdings – through its wholly owned subsidiary, MYREN Network – has obtained Network Facilities Provider (NFP) and Network Service Provider (NSP) licenses from MCMC, allowing the company to build nationwide fiber optic infrastructure, including fixed links, cables, towers and poles.
“With this launch, we are moving forward with our infrastructure projects to connect previously unconnected communities to enable inclusive education and improve the competitiveness of Malaysia and Malaysians,” Dato’ Sri Shahril said. Mokhtar, chairman of UiTM Holdings.
According to MyDIGITAL map, household access to broadband services in rural areas is lower than in urban areas in Malaysia. In 2019, 80.4% of rural households had access to mobile broadband, compared to 88.8% of urban households, with this figure decreasing to 11.7% and 35.3% respectively for fixed broadband.
“We want to ensure that every Malaysian, including the B40 and rural communities, participates in the digital socio-economic development of the nation,” said Datuk Seri Dr. Noraini Ahmad, Minister of MOHE.
“This initiative is an important step in that direction. Through initiatives like these, we are determined to transform the level of connectivity and reduce the current digital divide, to realize Malaysia’s MyDIGITAL aspirations.
Tags MicrosoftMalaysiaUiTM HoldingsAxiCom