Current trends indicate that two third of the world’s total population should be online by this time next year, with the expectation of connected activity continuing to increase.
The Internet has been growing at an incredible rate with 27,000 new users every hour showing how incredibly fast the world is changing and adopting to digital connectivity.
The need to promote digital connectivity is clear and urgent as the world is becoming increasingly digital. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that connectivity is no longer a luxury but a lifeline for working, learning, keeping in touch and accessing essential services.
Currently, about 92 per cent of the households in Brunei are covered with fibre, ready to deliver broadband services, while 90 per cent of it is covered for mobile services based on the latest technology which is 5G-ready.
The latest Global Median Speed reports from Ookla reveal that the world’s median mobile internet connection is at 30.37Mbps and a fixed broadband connection is at 67.25Mbps.
While Brunei is ranked number 1 in ASEAN and number 14 in the world surpassing Singapore (rank 18th) in mobile internet connection, it fared less impressively at number 99 globally with its fixed broadband median speed.
Speedtest Global Index rankings are based on median download speed to best reflect the speeds a user is likely to achieve in a market. Mbps or Megabits per second is the standard measure of broadband speed.
It refers to the speed with which data is downloaded from, or uploaded to, the internet.
In ensuring inclusive access to connectivity, UNN’s Rural Development Program for fibre rollout and additional base stations are being planned and carried out to reach difficult-to-access rural areas.
Thirty-eight rural locations have been planned across Belait, Tutong and Temburong, and include areas in Kg Long Mayan, Kg Sukang, Kg Melilas, Kg Biadong Ulu, Kg Senukoh, Kg Parit Amo to name a few.
Four rural locations namely Kg Rampayoh, Kg Menegah Lamunin, Kg Kuala Abang and Kg Bukit Barun are already on air and providing mobile coverage to previously uncovered areas.
Whilst 5G is on everybody’s mind and was a central topic during the Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition (MYCE) 2022 with a commercial launch teased to be ready in its preparation and infrastructure, it is important to transform 5G ideas and visions into actionable activities as well as identify and test applications that will lay the building blocks and create value for the Digital Economy in the sultanate.
Besides the modernisation of the infrastructure and the introduction of new technologies, affordability, speed, and security are also part of achieving reliable digital connectivity. Meaningful digital connectivity is a level of connectivity that allows users to have a safe, satisfying, enriching and productive online experience at an affordable cost.
Below is the journey the Brunei Telecommunications Industry has achieved towards meaningful digital connectivity thus far.
In keeping with its momentum to actively drive the transformation of the whole telecommunication industry and elevate the country to meet global standards, the Brunei Telecommunications Industry will be uplifting fixed broadband speeds next month with the objective of bringing the baseline speed up to at least 50Mbps. In this way, UNN and its partners are ensuring that the country and its population achieve meaningful digital connectivity.
“Broadband connectivity, specifically fixed broadband, empowers the public during a pandemic to remotely work, study and play. The fixed broadband uplift will ensure a better experience for the public,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Datastream Digital (DST) Radin Sufri Radin Basiuni.
“DST, in support of the fixed broadband uplift will commence fixed broadband speed uplift on 1st September 2022 to our Infinity subscribers at no additional charges and no extension of their current service contract. Furthermore, DST will be able to address other needs of its Infinity subscribers, other than speed. There will be choices that will address its Infinity subscribers’ experience.”
Sharing the same sentiment, CEO of Progresif Hjh Nurul Haniah Jaafar said that with the latest broadband uplift led by the industry, this will fulfil streaming or online experience for the people of Brunei.
“At Progresif, it is our mission to ensure we help unlock possibilities so Bruneians can enjoy the benefits of a connected, inspired and progressive life which is why we believe in providing them affordable packages and an unrivalled customer experience,” she said.
All the telecommunications service providers within the Darussalam Assets (DA) Group of Companies, supported by Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry (AITI) champions the nation’s progress towards transforming Brunei into a Smart Nation aligned with the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 and Wawasan 2035.
With the latest initiative to be driven by the telcos, this national broadband uplift to be launched on 1st September 2022 aims to improve customer experience with services that are more affordable for all.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN