Lack of mobile network coverage in Temburong

National 1 minute, 20 seconds


MOBILE network connectivity was the main topic of discussion when the Ministry of Communications (MinCom) came under scrutiny on the sixth day of the State Legislative Council (LegCo) Meeting, yesterday.

Communications Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong was on hand to answer concerns raised by the Council Members.

Temburong District representative to the council, Hj Sulaiman Hj Ahad was concerned over the lack of network coverage in the district.

He said that some areas were cut off from the two main mobile operators' coverage, especially at border control posts, where the strength of the signal of foreign operators over-shadowed that of the domestic operators.

He asked the minister what could be done about this.

The minister in response said that the solution would be to install more towers in areas with weak signals.

However, this could not readily be done as it costs $11 million to build a single tower and does not make a feasible return on investment for the private sector operators.

The infrastructure for the towers, such as the cables connecting it to other communication points is also difficult to manage as they had to pass through private and government land.

If the cables just had to pass through government land, the process would be easier, the minister said.

However, since it has to pass through privately-owned land, some of the owners may not agree, thus hindering the process.

The ministry was one of three ministries which came under view yesterday. The meeting will be in session again on Monday starting at 2.30pm.

The Brunei Times