The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry of Sabah, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and MEASAT have deployed ConnectMe Now satellite connectivity at Kampung Waluhu in Ranau, Sabah. This came following a recent incident of students that had to put themselves at risk to get good connectivity by going into the forest with the potential of encountering wild animals.
Apart from deploying the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and High Throughput Satellite (HTS) solution, the Sabah state government is sponsoring 300GB ConnectMe prepaid vouchers as an immediate solution for the community of Kampung Waluhu to aid them in their daily activities. The village is located at a remote area that has limited radius of terrestrial broadband network.
According to the MCMC, a new communications tower will be built at a suitable location under the JENDELA plan. This would provide better mobile coverage for residents in both Kampung Singgaron Baru and Kampung Waluhu. Although the tower is a long-term solution, it will take time to complete and the satellite broadband is deployed as an immediate solution for the residents.
Sabah’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Haji Yajub Khan said “We are very sympathetic to the students who places their lives at risk to get an internet network to attend online classes. I am glad that MEASAT’s CONNECTme NOW service is fast and nimble enough to be set up anywhere, bridging digital divide across our Sabah rural communities.”
Commenting on the deployment, MEASAT COO Yau Chyong Lim said, “We are pleased to be able to provide CONNECTme NOW to the community of Kg Waluhu and help them overcome the challenges of broadband communication. While there is proactive focus by the Government on strengthening the existing terrestrial networks, it will still take a long time to upgrade connectivity in underserved areas. Satellite-based broadband services are the ideal, practical and immediate solution in providing connectivity to communities in rural areas and it can be ready in just a matter of days.”
ConnectMe Now has over 1,000 sites across Malaysia and claims to provide over 100,000 broadband connections for residents residing outside 4G or terrestrial coverage areas. The satellite-based service provides speeds up to 30Mbps and it offers 100% coverage throughout Malaysia.
ConnectMe Now is a prepaid service that can be deployed within a couple of days and there are no contract or upfront investments required. ConnectMe will deploy the equipment including the satellite dish and WiFi access points for free at rural communities that have no 3G or 4G coverage. For areas without a power source, ConnectMe can deploy a solar-powered solution. The local community can gain access by buying prepaid vouchers which costs RM10 for 1GB (valid for 30 days) or RM40 for 5GB (valid for 60 days).