Efforts towards Smart Nation must continue, urges minister

Wani Roslan

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said based on Unified National Networks (UNN) statistics, mobile data usage increased by about five per cent and home-fixed data by 10 per cent since January.

“The response to this technology is encouraging. It is important for us to continue as our vision is to be a Smart Nation, and as our preparation towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We have to continue our efforts, with Internet as the main focus,” he said during a press conference at the Ministry of Health yesterday.

The minister said UNN Go Live was established at end of January. To date, applications for fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) increased up to 14,000, of which 13,000 have been installed with 1,000 remaining to be installed. This number is increasing, especially with e-learning for students ongoing.

“UNN is working together with over 70 teams for installations, and recently, a new company established spin-off from TelBru, adding 10 teams to speed up the installation of FTTH. In one day, we are able to install 90 to 100 FTTH,” he said.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew shared that the country has some 800 base-stations of which 260 have been upgraded to 4G plus.

He said, “We also have a trial for 5G. Once successful, we can roll out 5G in phases. There are certain areas in the Tutong and Belait districts that have not received FTTH, and this is another roll out to those areas. This is also to facilitate the connectivity for the people.
“We are also introducing new technology to improve our network system.

“It is hoped that it will bring costs down over time, as a way to encourage the public to utilise the technology. It is important for us to be efficient by cutting down the rates for Internet and data.

“Under the Digital Economy Council, we have some Smart Nation applications which we will roll out over time. This is very important not only during COVID-19, but after as well,” the minister said.