What is JENDELA?


Jalinan Digital Negara or JENDELA is a comprehensive digital infrastructure plan aimed at addressing the arising needs and demand for better quality for fixed and mobile broadband coverage due to COVID-19 pandemic and the Movement Control Order. The JENDELA will support activities such as working remotely or work from home, operating businesses online, and students’ education as well as to stay in touch with families and friends.
 

How did JENDELA come about?


The COVID-19 situation saw the need to reassess the digital infrastructure to improve shortcomings and prepare the country to be better equipped to undertake the digital economy drive. MCMC, as the Communications and Multimedia regulator had taken a leading role to establish the National Digital Infrastructure Lab (NDIL) that took place from 13 July-14 August 2020. The lab session involved representatives from ministries, government agencies, mobile and fixed broadband industry service providers (Celcom, Digi, Maxis, UMobile, Telekom and TIME).
 

How long does it take to implement JENDELA?


JENDELA is a five-year plan (2021-2025). It will be implemented in phases.
 

What is the Lab outcome that has transpired into JENDELA?

 


Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) will be the national digital communication enhancement platform under the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021–2025). JENDELA will be implemented in phases:


Phase 1 (2020 – 2022):

Phase 1, which starts now until 2022, will involve optimising existing resources and infrastructure for both mobile and fixed connectivity by:

  • Expanding 4G mobile broadband coverage from 91.8% to 96.9% in populated areas;

  • Increasing mobile broadband speeds from 25Mbps to 35Mbps; and

  • Enabling as many as 7.5 million premises to access gigabit speeds with fixed broadband services.

 

This will also involve the gradual switch-off/sunset of 3G networks until the end of 2021, allowing further upgrades to 4G networks as well as strengthening the foundation for 5G networks.



Phase 2 (Beyond 2022):

  • Phase 2 of JENDELA involves addressing the remainder of the digital divide not covered under Phase 1, primarily utilising FWA and other fit-for-purpose technologies, as well as priming the nation’s transition to 5G; which will take place once action plans to build a robust 4G and fibre platform under Phase 1 are achieved.


 

How will I benefit from JENDELA?


JENDELA is aimed to facilitate and provide better quality of experience and 100%connectivity to Malaysians:

  1. Education/Productivity – home-based learning for students, and employees working from home.

  2. Industries – Digitise SMEs / Business-to-Business to recover and diversify their businesses.

  3. Communities and Societies – Constantly connected and seamless digital lifestyle.
     

If everyone is going to get connected, does this mean that everyone is going to get the same experience?


User experience on mobile broadband may differ depending on the location of the subscriber. The proximity of the user with regards to the network base station will determine the strength and the quality of the signal which influences the user experience. For example, a user who is outdoor will have better experience if the signal is coming from an outdoor base station, compared to being indoor. As the user gets closer to the base station, the experience is expected to improve.
 

User experience on mobile broadband may differ depending on the location of the subscriber. The proximity of the user with regards to the network base station will determine the strength and the quality of the signal which influences the user experience. For example, a user who is outdoor will have better experience if the signal is coming from an outdoor base station, compared to being indoor. As the user gets closer to the base station, the experience is expected to improve.
 
JENDELA will provide access for users to evaluate the coverage and quality of services, and also enable the planning and construction of digital infrastructure to be facilitated by the various Ministries and agencies, including at state level, so that comprehensive and high quality broadband services can be provided to consumers sooner.
 

Why do we need to migrate from 3G to 4G?


4G is better equipped to provide a better quality of experience for data usage compared to 3G. To have better 4G capacity more spectrum will be required. Refarming the spectrum used for 3G for 4G optimises the scarce resource.4G thus is a more advanced network generation and has higher efficacy for better network quality on data. As JENDELA aims to provide quality network access for digital connectivity, the efficacy of managing 4G networks will help service providers to deliver better digital experience to users, compared to 3G networks.
 

What will happen to our 3G devices if the network is to be switched off and migrated to 4G.


Service providers and the government aim for overall improved digital experience for Malaysians and need to ensure that this will be achieved by managing the network technology, including gradual discontinuation of 3G networks, allowing 4G to be more efficiently managed.

As the technology is evolving, more devices with 4G technology are becoming more affordable for the customers. Service providers will also look into future plans such as special offerings for the customers to upgrade their devices, enabling them to enjoy quality digital access on 4G.
 

How will JENDELA accelerate Malaysia’s digital economy development?


Seamless and inclusive digital connectivity would be the foundation in driving Malaysia’s digital economy.
 
As the aspirations outline the quality internet connectivity for all, it will first impact the traditional industries into adapting technology and improve overall operational efficiency. Digital economic activities such as e-commerce and financial technologies (fintech) will be uplifted. Businesses can reach out to more consumers within areas that were unreachable before. Small entrepreneurs can now expand their businesses further, as they will be able to embark on digital marketing and perform business transactions digitally.
 
 

Does this mean delay of 5G network rollout? How does Malaysia plan to stay competitive with the rest of the world that has launched 5G commercially?


As Malaysia is rapidly embracing the industrial revolution, many industries have evolved and already relying on 4G networks for many applications and solutions in optimising their business operations. Hence there are crucial needs for seamless and robust 4G connectivity to enable more industries in embarking on their digital transformation.
 
JENDELA will firstly prioritise strengthening the nation’s fixed and 4G networks, building a strong foundation to transition into 5G. To achieve the targets in Phase 1, the Industry will look at providing wider coverage and enhanced quality of experience by upgrading and building new 4G sites, as well as fiberising more premises.
 
This will be driven by extending 4G mobile coverage in rural and remote areas, improving in-door coverage for urban and suburban areas, connecting more homes with fixed broadband via fibre and other fit-for-purpose technologies (e.g. Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and satellite) to ensure nationwide coverage and connectivity.
 
Meanwhile, fibre providers will continue to support the industry with fibre backhaul; not only for capacity to serve expected higher traffic demands, but also to ensure the essential fibre foundation for the transition into 5G. 5G capabilities will be able to support various anticipated commercial benefits as it is expected to be highly reliable, flexible, and adaptable. With JENDELA Phase 1 implementation, the government and service providers can robustly gear up for 5G.
 
The 5G rollout is approached in a measured manner and will enhance quality of experience when implemented. Rushing into 5G not only increases the digital divide but may have a higher cost on the network thereby potentially impacting the cost to end users.
 

The Sunsetting Of 3G Network

 

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