TM to ex­pand UniFi cov­er­age in Sabah

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - BUSINESS - By Chok Sim Yee

KOTA KINABALU: Telekom Malaysia Ber­had (TM) will ex­pand its high-speed broad­band UniFi cov­er­age to Pe­nam­pang, Pu­tatan, Keningau, Kota Be­lud, La­had Datu and Labuan this year.

Its Sabah general man­ager Sukkuriya bin Masri said the present UniFi cov­er­age was only con­cen­trated in Kota Kinabalu, Meng­gatal, San­dakan and Tawau.

UniFi is a broad­band ser­vice by TM that uses fi­bre op­tics to de­liver high speed In­ter­net, phone and In­ter­net Pro­to­col tele­vi­sion (IPTV) ser­vices to cus­tomers.

This year, TM is plan­ning to de­ploy close to 19,000 UniFi ports through­out Sabah, bring­ing the to­tal to 33,000 ports, in or­der to make the high-speed In­ter­net ser­vice avail­able in Pe­nam­pang, Pu­tatan, Keningau, Kota Be­lud, La­had Datu and Labuan.

Sukkuriya said TM had in­vested RM75 mil­lion in devel­op­ment in the State last year, in­clud­ing main­te­nance and up­grad­ing works, and is look­ing at in­vest­ing RM86 mil­lion this year.

De­spite its high down­load­ing speed up to 50Mbps, Sabah had only recorded 6,500 UniFi sub­scribers to date, whereas Streamyx, which can reach a max­i­mum of 8Mbps, has a cus­tomer base of 120,000.

Sukkuriya rea­soned that the some­what low UniFi sub­scrip­tion rate was be­cause the ser­vice was only of­fered since Oc­to­ber last year.

“We started devel­op­ment (UniFi) in May last year, and fin­ished the de­vel­op­ments in stages in Au­gust and Septem­ber.

“We be­gan to of­fer UniFi in Oc­to­ber 2015. We hope to get more sub­scribers this year,” he said when pay­ing a courtesy call on Kota Kinabalu Chi­nese Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (KKCCCI), headed by Datuk Michael Lui here yes­ter­day.

Sukk uri ya added that S tr ea myx would be phased out in stages when the sub­scribers have con­verted to UniFi.

“Even­tu­ally, we are go­ing to phase out Streamyx be­cause we can­not main­tain both (Streamyx and UniFi). It is very ex­pen­sive.”

On an­other note, Sukkuriya en­cour­aged busi­nesses to sub­scribe to TM’s cloud tech­nol­ogy as it pro­vides larger band­width.

He also ad­vised TM cus­tomers to call 100 should they en­counter any prob­lems so that the TM oper­a­tors could con­duct test­ing or check­ing to re­solve the prob­lem right away, if pos­si­ble.

Sukkuriya added that up to 40 per cent of the prob­lems were re­solved this way.

Mean­while, Lui said the di­a­logue had pro­vided the cham­ber with a clearer pic­ture of TM’s fu­ture de­vel­op­ments, which he hoped could be im­ple­mented as soon as pos­si­ble.

He said the ob­jec­tive of the courtesy call was to strengthen the ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween TM Sabah and KKCCCI as well as en­abled the for­mer to up­date the cham­ber of its ser­vices.

Lui said the cham­ber re­al­ized the im­por­tance of lead­ing the Chi­nese busi­ness com­mu­nity in this mod­ern so­ci­ety and thus put in much ef­fort to work closely with the gov­ern­ment, gov­ern­ment agen­cies and gov­ern­ment re­lated com­pa­nies.

“KKCCCI, through a wide range of in­ter­ac­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, hopes to im­prove and en­hance the level of ser­vice in all ar­eas of com­merce and in­dus­try to cre­ate a bet­ter busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.”

In this tech­no­log­i­cal age, Lui said in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion had be­come a ba­sic need in civ­i­lized world, where peo­ple de­pended heav­ily on con­nec­tiv­ity, high-speed broad­band and wider wire­less cov­er­age to have quick ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion.

There­fore, he hoped that TM would un­der­stand the feel­ings of the pub­lic and our mem­bers when they com­plained or com­mented about the speed and un­sta­ble broad­band In­ter­net speed here.

None­the­less, Lui be­lieved that TM, be­ing a giant com­pany in Malaysia, would take im­me­di­ate ac­tion to im­prove and rec­tify the prob­lems.

KKCCCI had en­dorsed the mo­tion to urge the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to im­prove the In­ter­net ser­vices and con­nec­tiv­ity in the na­tion as the In­ter­net ser­vices in Sabah was slow, un­sta­ble and gets pro­gres­sively slower ac­cord­ing to us­age pe­riod.

On Jan­uary, KKCCCI wrote to the Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia re­gard­ing this mat­ter and re­ceived a writ­ten re­ply from the Malaysia Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Com­mis­sion (MCMC) on March 8, re­quest­ing for more in­for­ma­tion.

In three days, KKCCCI col­lected the feed­back and com­plaints from its mem­bers and sub­mit­ted the re­sponse to MCMC on March 11.

TM Sabah sub­se­quently re­quested KKCCCI to ar­range a courtesy call on March 16, which led to the di­a­logue yes­ter­day.

A copy of the feed­back per­tain­ing to In­ter­net ser­vices in Sabah has also been handed to Sukkuriya by Lui.

Also present at the event were TM Re­gional Net­work Devel­op­ment general man­ager Ah­mad Zamri Hashim, TM Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence Man­age­ment as­sis­tant general man­ager Jamil Jamal, TM Con­sumer Sabah as­sis­tant general man­ager Arif Hj Lakura, TM Busi­ness Re­search and Mar­ket Plan­ning Sabah man­ager Hj Awang Tan­gah Hj Jaa­far, TM Pub­lic Re­la­tion, Ad­ver­tis­ing and Pro­mo­tion Sabah man­ager Ab­dul Hadi Hashim, KKCCCI vice pres­i­dents Wil­liam Chia Vui Liam and Chang Chin Shin, wel­fare di­rec­tor Chao Len Ting, deputy trea­surer general Lee Nyuk Chong, wel­fare deputy di­rec­tor Lo Yun Choi, kinder­garten ed­u­ca­tion deputy di­rec­tor Chung Sin Ping, pub­lic re­la­tions, sports and en­ter­tain­ment deputy di­rec­tor Low Wai Meng, man­age­ment com­mit­tee mem­ber Szeto Wing Yee, su­per­vi­sory com­mit­tee mem­ber Chu Kong Ming and ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary Tan Kar Seng.

Sukkuriya (sev­enth left) presents a sou­venir to Lui while oth­ers look on.

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