4G+ services on the horizon

Hakim Hayat

Unified National Networks (UNN) yesterday said it is implementing additional capacity in Brunei’s mobile network to cater to steady growing demand in data services in the Sultanate. This will lead to better user experience.

The capacity expansion is taking place in the core systems, in the transport network and in the radio network, leading to increasing speed in mobile network, according to the company. The existing infrastructure is being upgraded to more advanced versions of 4G technology and with support from Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI), UNN has acquired additional spectrum, which can be readily utilised on the existing mobile network equipment.

UNN said within the next few weeks, this spectrum and additional technical measures will be implemented to provide advanced 4G (4G+) services in the network and can be used by the public with majority of the existing handsets. This should lead to a better experience when using data services.

With the 4G+ network in place in several areas in the country soon, it will provide the means to bridge the gap to the future 5G network.

UNN started its early engagement with the main national stakeholders in November to start shaping the scope of services to be delivered by the 5G network in Brunei.

During the engagement session, representatives from both the government and private sectors were presented with detailed explanation of 5G and its benefits, along with a range of 5G use cases which potentially could benefit the industry.

The engagement process will continue and more updates on this technology and respective development process will be shared with members of the public constantly through time.

Permanent Secretary (Investment) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy and Deputy Chairman of UNN Haji Khairuddin bin Haji Abdul Hamid at the event. PHOTO: UNN

Besides improvements in the mobile network, high speed broadband services delivered via optical fibre to homes and businesses remains the objective of the NetCo programme in Brunei. The ultimate goal is to connect the entire country with the high speed fibre network (FTTH – fibre to the home), providing not only a stable and reliable network, but also high speed Internet connection.

The FTTH project started by TelBru previously in 2012 will be continued and extended by UNN.

UNN has started the next FTTH rollout project phase, which will focus on seven new Mukim areas including Mukim Lumapas, Pengkalan Batu, Keriam, Telisai, Tanjong Maya, Kiudang and Lamunin. In these areas, the residents will soon see UNN employees and contractors working on the installation of fibre cable in duct systems.

UNN also launched a specialised webpage for the NetCo transformation, to disseminate more information on the objective of the current telco transformation, top facts of the implementation, the benefits to consumers and businesses, the role of UNN as the main wholesale provider of network infrastructure and also the three telecommunication companies as the service providers for consumers and businesses.

The webpage, an initiative by UNN’s shareholder Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd can be accessed at www.bruneinetco.com, and will be actively updated with more contents and development contributions from all the stakeholders including UNN.

Meanwhile, UNN marked its first year anniversary with a religious event at the office at the Design and Technology building in Kampong Anggerek Desa yesterday, with Permanent Secretary (Investment) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy and Deputy Chairman of UNN Haji Khairuddin bin Haji Abdul Hamid as the guest of honour.

Since establishment a year ago, UNN’s team has worked tirelessly to ensure the launch of the new organisation and its operational stability.

Reflecting on UNN’s commitment to modernise the network infrastructure in the country, it has achieved significant interim milestones on the way to provide better services to telcos.

UNN has successfully introduced new technical system and solutions to enable mobile and fixed networks available equally for all the three telecommunication companies namely Imagine Sdn Bhd (imagine), Datastream Technology Sdn Bhd (DST) and Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd (Progresif).