KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — The newly-launched Measat-3d satellite is important for Malaysia to achieve its 100 per cent Internet coverage target before 2025 and improve the quality of its broadband services, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said.
He said this was because the services offered by the satellite can be fully utilised in a couple of months’ time.
“So, there are two important aspects relating to the launch of the satellite today. Firstly, it will enable us to achieve 100 per cent Internet coverage for all populated areas before 2025.
“And secondly, we will be able to improve the quality of broadband services, improve high-speed services to be as good as the fibre optic network that we are implementing in developed areas,” he told reporters when met after watching the live streaming of the launching ceremony at the World Trade Centre here early today.
Malaysia, through Measat Satellite Systems Sdn Bhd (Measat), launched the Measat-3d satellite into orbit on the Ariane-5 rocket from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, South America, at 5.50am Malaysian time today (6.50pm local time on June 22).
Measat-3d, which is Measat’s eighth and most advanced satellite, costs RM1.2 billion with a lifespan of 18 years and is expected to improve the communication services to Malaysia and regional countries.
It is also expected to bridge the digital connectivity gap and shape a better connectivity future for Malaysians in line with the government’s initiatives through the National Digital Network (Jendela) plan.
Annuar said the launch was a historic development and very important to the government's efforts to fully succeed and complete the implementation of the Jendela programme and the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital).
He said the country had an expected Internet coverage of up to 97 per cent under the Jendela 1 programme which connected populated areas using the fibre optic network method, while the remaining three per cent were in rural areas.
“We definitely require the use of satellite technology for the rural areas. We are already satellite technology now but the existing satellites are offering broadband services of low capacity and low speed...mostly less than 10 Mbps (megabyte per second), but Measat-3d satellite will be able of providing broadband services of between 35 Mbps to 100 Mbps to those areas,” he said.
Annuar said the Measat-3d satellite services would be available to Malaysians after the trial period was completed about a month from now.
He said Internet access to rural areas was already in the MyDigital blueprint and his ministry had also prepared a roadmap to ensure Internet coverage reaches up to 100 per cent and an overall speed of at least 35 Mbps by 2025.
"The goals in the blueprint will be fully achieved with the launch of Measat-3d today,” he said.
Meanwhile, Communications and Multimedia Ministry (K-KOMM) secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek congratulated Measat on the launch of the Measat-3d satellite.
He said the launch will enable Malaysians to enjoy better connectivity, especially in rural areas.
“This will help the country achieve the goal of bridging the digital connectivity gap between rural and urban areas as outlined in the Jendela plan.
“With access to high-speed Internet throughout the country, all Malaysians will enjoy access to the socio-economic benefits powered by the Internet, including engaging in e-commerce activities,” he said in a press conference from Kourou.
Mohammad said that with the launch of the satellite, Malaysia can encourage more small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially those in rural areas to be on board in e-commerce.
“This indirectly can increase their income as well, as we know during the Covid-19 pandemic most of the SMEs are affected but the only groups that are not affected are those who are on board the e-commerce, whereby they do their businesses online “Hopefully after this not just Measat, the other telcos also can complement this programme by introducing new products or new programmes for the people with cheaper packages and so on,” he said.
Mohammad also thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, cabinet ministers, and government officials for witnessing the live broadcast of the Measat-3d launch in Kuala Lumpur. — Bernama