BARCELONA: The Sarawak government is looking forward to tap into the latest technological advancements showcased in the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2024 as preparation to become a major digital economy powerhouse in the region as outlined in the Sarawak Digital Economy Blueprint 2030.

State Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Seri Julaihi Narawi said these latest technological advancements would help to create dynamic digital economy, which requires a strong digital foundation including digital infrastructure, talents, innovation and cyber security.

“Of course, our presence in the MWC 2024 is one of the efforts to update and keep ourselves abreast with latest developments and technologies showcased here. So, we hope we would able to tap the latest technologies in order to update ourserves,” he told reporters during a media rountdtable on the sidelines of the MWC 2024 in Fira Gran Via here on Monday.

Besides that, he said, technological advancements also would help the state to expand the coverage and provide connectivity especially for rural communities.

He said in hard-to-reach areas, the state government has equipped 773 sites with very small aperture terminals (VSATs) as an interim solution to give Internet access to the underserved community.

Julaihi shared that 1,472 towers have been implemented throughout Sarawak through the Sarawak Linking Urban, Rural and Nation (SALURAN) and National Fibersation and Connectivity Plan (JENDELA) initiatives.

He also noted that the 4G coverage in Sarawak is at 66 per cent and is expected to reach 93 per cent upon the towers’ completion by end of this year.

Julaihi pointed out that as one of the first states to roll out the 5G network, Sarawak currently has 514 sites that have been commissioned and 585 sites planned to be on air by 2024 with a 64.8 per cent coverage.

He said with Sarawak’s vast landscape, it is estimated the state will need 7,000 telecommunication structures to achieve 99.9 per cent Internet penetration throughout Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Julaihi also said Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd is working closely with the state government in providing digital infrastructure and solutions.

Key projects through the partnership include Sarawak Network and Cloud, Kuching Smart City Master Plan and Sarawak Rural Broadband Network (MySRBN) to extend the 4G network and connectivity throughout the state and Sarawak Multimedia Authority Rural Telecommunication (SMART).

Earlier, Julaihi officiated the Sarawak Pavilion before visiting the Malaysia Pavilion together with his delegation at the MWC 2024, the largest annual gathering in the telecommunications industry hosted by the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA). - Bernama

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