Following the announcement back in December, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has recently revealed that the construction of infrastructure that is allocated under the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) package 1 is already underway. Mean to improve mobile service in underserved areas, this infra package cover 152 sites throughout 8 states across the country.
Said to cost RM 290 million, the deployment of the NFCP 1 infra package starts with tower installation which is handled by Axiata’s subsidiary, edotco in 113 sites. In 39 other sites, it is being done by a company belonged to Felda, the FGV Prodata Systems.
Once the towers are completed, Maxis and U Mobile will then come in to install the necessary network equipment and services that support at least 4 cellular mobile providers. In some of the sites, Maxis has also been given the task to fiberized them.
According to MCMC, 147 of the NFCP 1 sites should be up and ready to serve users by February 2021. The remaining sites will take another year to be ready though as they are apparently quite remote and posses additional challenges for deployment.
Here is the full list of sites that are covered by the NFCP 1 package:
In line with NFCP main targets, the deployment of NFCP 1 infrastructure package which revolves around 3G and 4G technology is expected to deliver average downlink speed of 30Mbps as well as 10Mbps uplink speed when it is completed. This is not be the end of story though as additional NFCP packaged are already in the pipeline as well.
As mentioned in our previous report, NFCP 2 package which has the same target as NFCP 1 will involve 500 additional sites and is currently going through tender process. We have also obtained early information regarding NFCP 3 package in which we will cover in a separate report.
Let’s also not forget the government is also expecting our 5G network to be commercially available for users in Q3 2020. The technology’s speed advantage will likely help the government’s objective of improving the Internet experience in Malaysia, given it is done correctly.
That being said, 5G is still a subset of NFCP and the technology relies heavily on the reach of fiber connectivity in order to make it a reality. Hence, in a way, these NFCP infra packages can be seen as the foundation for 5G.