The Star Biz, 3 Sep 2004
Maxis Communications Bhd has earmarked up to RM300mil to be contributed to the national Universal Service Provision (USP) programme this year, chief executive officer Datuk Jamaludin Ibrahim said.
"We've contributed about RM300mil to the fund in the past. And this year alone, we plan to put in another RM200mil to RM300mil," Jamaludin said yesterday in Seri Kembangan at the launch of the ACM Summit 2004 and ICT Excellence Awards 2004.
The USP programme, under the purview of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, aims to provide telecommunication services to unserved and under-served areas and communities in the country. All licensed telecommunication service providers, except content applications service providers, are required by law to contribute 6% of their weighted net revenue derived from designated services to the USP fund.
Providing telecommunication access and connectivity to all Malaysians was one of the three key challenges in the telecommunication industry raised by Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik in his keynote address read by Deputy Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor. The other challenges noted were the coverage and quality of cellular service; and increasing broadband Internet penetration in the country, now at less than 1%.
In response to the issue of cellular network coverage, Jamaludin said Maxis planned to invest more than RM1bil over this year and next year just on improving its network coverage nationwide, especially to sub-urban and rural areas.
As to Maxis' role in the National Broadband Plan, he said the company was conducting trials on several broadband technologies. Among them are trials on IP (Internet Protocol) wireless technology which kicked off two weeks ago in Subang Jaya. Its trials on 3G started in March.
"By the end of the year, we would have invested RM200mil in 3G and RM10mil in broadband. We expect to see some semblance of convergence between 3G and broadband within the next two years," he said.
Meanwhile, Maxis' involvement in the ICT Excellence Awards since 1999 was part of its corporate social responsibility programme, which encompassed the CyberlinQ programme, a collaborative project with The Star, and Cyberkids Camp, a joint initiative with the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry, Jamaludin said.
The ICT Excellence Awards 2004, jointly sponsored by the ministry, Malaysian National Computer Confederation (MNCC) and Maxis, features six categories honouring individuals who contributed to the development of the local ICT industry.
The categories are Excellent ICT Teacher, Excellent ICT Student, Open Source Software, Local Community ICT Champion, Best School Website Competition, and Most Creative Local Mobile Application. In addition, there were also awards for Best Pusat Internet Desa Competition (under the ministry), CyberlinQ Community Website Competition (by Maxis and The Star) and Cyberkids Camps Best School Website Competition (under the ministry and Maxis).
iNavigate Sdn Bhd won the Most Creative Local Mobile Application with its myCar application, a powerful yet personal mobile alert service