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MCMC splits JENDELA Phase 1 scope of work into two parts, 900MHz spectrum no longer a requirement

MCMC has revised its invitation for interested and eligible licensees under the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 to participate in JENDELA Phase 1. The new invitation dated 15th January 2021 replaces the previous invitation that was released in 20th November 2020.

Separation of Passive and Active Infrastructure works

According to the MCMC, the revised invitation will divide the scope of work into two parts. Part 1 is for passive infrastructure which includes site acquisition and installation of tower. Meanwhile Part 2 covers active infrastructure which involves installation of network equipment and interoperability with other telcos to provide capacity for 2G and 4G services.

The scope of work were combined under the original invitation, which is similar to NFCP 2. With the new update, interested licensees can choose to participate in either Part 1 or Part 2.

The closing date for registration of interest is on the 2nd February 2021 and the Draft Universal Service Plans must reach the the MCMC by 12.00pm on 31st March 2021. It appears that JENDELA Phase 1 has been pushed back by another month as the originally submission date was 25th February 2021.

The MCMC added that this approach is aimed at expediting the implementation and to allow more licensees to participate in the exercise. JENDELA Phase 1 will cover 1,661 locations in 106 clusters throughout Malaysia. Under the plan, telcos must deliver an average 4G speed of 35Mbps.

JENDELA Phase 1 not limited to 900MHz

JENDELA Phase 1 old vs new RFP
Old vs New RFP

Based on the original RFP that was released in November last year, 900MHz spectrum was listed as a requirement. This would limit participation to just 4 telcos – Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile. The requirement has been removed in the updated invitation and this would allow more licensees to participate. In addition, telcos would be free to utilise various spectrum to provide coverage in rural areas.

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JENDELA is a revamp of the NFCP

The JENDELA plan aims to increase Malaysia’s 4G coverage from 91.6% to 96.9% by 2022. Described as a revamp of NFCP, JENDELA Phase 1 will cover 3x the number of locations planned under NFCP 2. There’s a lot of catching up to do as NFCP 2 was supposed to kick off last year with 500 sites. The biggest beneficiary of NFCP 2 was Sarawak with a total of 185 locations planned, followed by Sabah with 115 locations.

The NFCP 1 which was awarded in January 2020 is still being prioritised under JENDELA. NFCP 1 covers a total of 152 sites which are mostly in Sabah and it includes Veveonah’s village in Pitas.

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Alexander Wong