Submarine cable capacity between West and East Malaysia to be tripled in 3 years

Internet connectivity in Sabah is getting a huge boost as the government will triple the bandwidth capacity of the Sistem Kabel Rakyat Malaysia (SKRM) submarine cable linking West and East Malaysia. This was revealed during the launch of Gerbang Sabah, an undersea fibre optic landing station at Tanjung Aru.

According to the MCMC, the undersea cable has a capacity of 4Tbps and it will be upgraded to 12.8Tbps in 3 years. The upgrade will involve a RM100 million allocation in addition to the original investment of RM575.5 million made by the MCMC (RM383.7 million) and Telekom Malaysia (RM191.8 million).

The statement added that Sabah will be the biggest beneficiary of the JENDELA plan and the state will receive an allocation of RM2.45 billion to improve its digital infrastructure. From now until 2022, a total of 419 new mobile towers will be erected while existing 1,972 transmitters will be upgraded to 4G. Meanwhile, a total of 251,166 premises in Sabah will get access to fibre optic connectivity.

The SKRM submarine cable network was first launched as SKR1M and it was a public-private partnership (PPP) between TM, MCMC and Time. The network spans over 3,800 km and it was completed by NEC. There are 6 landings which include Kuantan, Mersing, Kuching, Bintulu, Miri and Kota Kinabalu.

Source: MCMC

The cable uses a 100Gbps wavelength technology with an initial capacity of 4Tbps that is upgradable to 12.8Tbps. It replaces the old Malaysian Domestic Submarine Cable System (MDSCS) which was deployed in 1995 and has a limited capacity of 400Gbps. SKR1M was completed in 2017 and the utilisation by Sabah and Sarawak was at 25% in the first year.

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The Gerbang Sabah landing station is managed by TM and it is the internet gateway of Sabah to the world. The station will provide connectivity to exchanges, mobile towers and various internet applications in Sabah.


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Alexander Wong