NFCP 1 project to be awarded to licensees next month

CYBERJAYA: The first phase of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP 1) will be awarded to successful licensees through a tender process early next month, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said on Dec 9.

It involves 153 locations covering 94 areas in eight states – Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Terengganu and Sabah.

The selected licensees would be required to install network facilities and implement network services for provision of public cellular service using 3G and 4G technology with an average speed of 30 megabits per second (Mbps), he added.

“NFCP 1 involves the installation of telecommunication towers nationwide, most importantly in underserved areas, because NFCP is about universal services provision to ensure that 98% of populated areas in Malaysia achieve 30 Mbps at the average,” he said after a visit by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo to the NFCP Operation Room at the MCMC Tower here.

Al-Ishsal said all licensees who have been successful in the MCMC tender process to implement the project would be announced through the website www.nfcp.my to ensure transparency.

In addition, Al-Ishsal said, MCMC had also issued request for proposal (RFP) documents on Nov 15 for the second phase, NFCP 2.

“The licensees have until March 31, 2020 to submit their bids,” he added.

NFCP 2, Al-Ishsal said, would involve 500 locations at 210 areas in 10 states – Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak.

As with NFCP 1, he said, NFCP 2 would also involve network facilities and implementation of network services for the provision of public cellular services using 3G and 4G technology at an average speed of 30 Mbps.

According to him, NFCP 1 and NFCP 2 would be funded using the Universal Service Provision Fund in line with the objectives of the Communications and Multimedia (Universal Service Provision) Regulations 2002.

Asked whether broadband service pricing would continue to drop through the NFCP after a 49% average decrease since the end of last year, Al-Ishsal said the process is a continuing objective of the government with the support of industry players.

Telecommunication companies have been in discussions with MCMC since September to determine areas of cooperation including infrastructure sharing.

“With infrastructure sharing, the cost of providing services will be lowered and costs to consumers will be much less, so we have taken the first step towards infrastructure sharing,” Al-Ishsal said. – Bernama

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