PENANG TO GET ANOTHER 750 FREE WIFI HOTSPOTS — State government’s latest initiative will see free Wi-Fi coverage areas doubled to 1,500
Penang, Friday (May 13, 2011) – The Penang government has intensified its efforts to provide free broadband access in the island by adding another 750 free Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas throughout the state as part of phase two of its ‘Penang Free Wi-Fi’ initiative.
The Penang free Wi-Fi intiative is implemented by open tender to all companies listed on Bursa Malaysia in 2 stages. The first stage is the qualifying stage where the listed company has to provide 750 Wi-Fi hotspots at its own cost without any financial contribution from the state government.
After installing the 750 free Wi-Fi hotspots, then only the listed company will qualify to bid for the second stage where the state government pays for another 750 Wi-Fi hotspots. So far, only one listed company has qualified. As for the first 750 Wi-Fi hotspots were provided free of charge by the listed company, the state government cannot compel where the Wi-Fi site should be sited. The company placed the first 750 Wi-Fi sites based on commercial consideration in the ability to generate advertising revenue.
Even though it is not possible to have an open tender with one listed company, the state government has managed to reduce the price that was initially offered. In line with CAT governance of Competency, Accountability and Transparency, the Penang state government is willing to offer the same terms to any other listed companies interested. This free Wi-Fi effort with Service Level Agreement ensuring maximum uptime by the Penang state government is the first of its kind in Malaysia.
The installation of these additional 750 hotpots is expected to be completed by September 2012, by which time the number of free Wi-Fi coverage areas would have doubled to 1,500.
The ‘Penang Free Wi-Fi’ service is a component of the state’s [email protected] initiative and the first 750 hotspots were launched in 2009. The free Wi-Fi service provider is REDtone International Berhad (REDtone) who installed the first 750 free Wi-Fi hotspots without a single cent from the Penang state government. The principal reason why only listed companies can qualify is to ensure reliability in service and dependability in performance.
The state government today through PDC Telecommunication Services Sdn Bhd (PDCTelco) signed a collaboration agreement with REDtone for the deployment of phase two of the ‘Penang Free Wi-Fi’ project for a period of 5 years at a cost of RM8.5 million. This RM8.5 million will be borne equally by both PDC Telco and the state government. Any advertising revenues earned will be shared between REDtone and PDC Telco. Signing on behalf of PDCTelco was YB Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun, Chairman of PDCTelco while REDtone was represented by REDtone International Bhd’s Managing Director, Wei Chuan Beng.
As a gesture of goodwill, REDtone has also offered 50 Wi-Fi hotspots free which will add up the total number of free Wi-Fi hotspots available to Penang in public areas to 1550 by end of September 2012. What is unique about this arrangement is that for the first time in Malaysia, there is an agreement for Service Level Availability with penalties imposed for non-performance. This would handle complaints of poor reception or slow service subject of course to heavy usage. Further, REDtone shall provide 50MB as backhaul to the Internet for the existing 750 sites and he new proposed sites.
The free Wi-Fi service enables Penangites and visitors to the island to enjoy wireless Internet service without having to fork out any money at specified public areas. Further as PR state government is for all, hence Wi-Fi is also for all.
That is why one critical requirement in the agreement signed today requires at least 10 free Wi-Fi sites in public areas for every one of the 40 state constituencies in Penang including opposition areas. The free Wi-Fi service locations are easily identified by signages.
Currently, there are 50,000 registered users for the ‘Penang Free Wi-Fi’ service. To become a user, the person will need to register first.
About PDC Telecommunication Services Sdn Bhd
PDC Telecommunication Services Sdn. Bhd. (PDCTelco), a joint venture company between PDC Premier Holdings Sdn. Bhd. dan MESB Berhad with 60 percent stake and 40 percent stake respectively. Incorporated in June 2005, PDCTelco is entrusted by Penang State Government to systematically develop and monitor the telecommunication infrastructure in Penang State.
Functioning in the capacity of as State Backed Company (SBC) to develop the telecommunication infrastructure and assumes the responsibility of a One Stop Agency on behalf of Penang State Government to ensure that all telecommunication infrastructure development program conform to the required guidelines.
PDCTelco mission is to plan, implement and control an intelligent development of telecommunication infrastructure between industry players and authorities in an integrated and organized way which will benefit the State of Penang, network operators, service providers and the customers.
PDCTelco has also played an important role in providing sound consultation to the telcos in understanding and overcoming a broad spectrum of development issues. Assisting the telcos and Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in educating members of the public through talks and seminars on the radiation related issues is one of the organization’s social obligations
PDCTelco was awarded the Network Facilities Provider (NFP) license by MCMC on December 28, 2005, after which a license agreement was entered into between PDCTelco, Celcom, Digi, Maxis and Sapura to secure sites to build, own and lease telecommunication structures in Penang.
To date, PDCTelco has rolled out the construction of towers and monopoles, and currently owns 28 structures. Furthermore, in the year 2010 PDCTelco will construct 45 new structures, which are leased to all network operators and WiMax operators.
For further information, visit www.pdctelco.com.my.
About REDtone International Bhd
REDtone was listed on the Malaysian Exchange Of Securities Dealing & Automated Quotations (MESDAQ), now known as ACE Market, in January 2004. The broadband service provider, a Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status company, aims to provide better technology and performance, better value, better customer service and better applications and solutions to its customers.
REDtone offers high speed Internet services, data solutions and discounted voice over IP services. The company is known for its in-house R & D capabilities and its home-grown technological innovations have won many awards in Malaysia and abroad.
In addition to Malaysia, REDtone operates in China as well.
More about REDtone available at www.redtone.com
For further information on REDtone, please contact BG Tay at Tel: (03) 7725 1908 or 012-202 5898; email: [email protected]
News Release By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town on 13th May 2011 at 1145 am.
—— Chinese Translation ———-
（槟城13日讯） – 槟州政府通过在公众场所增加额外750个免费无线上网热点，以尽力加强槟岛的免费WIFI上网服务，做为免费无线上网的第二阶段项目。
州政府今天通过槟州发展机构电讯服务公司(PDCTelco)，与REDtone签署了合作协议书，进行第二阶段的“槟州免费WIFI计划”，这项计划长达5年，费用为850万令吉。槟州发展机构电讯服务公司将和州政府将共同承担这笔费用。REDtone和PDCTelco将分享广告收入。协议书由PDCTelco主席黄泉安签署，而REDTone的代表为其集团执行董事Wei Chuan Beng。
为了表示诚意，REDtone也提供50个免费Wifi 热点，在2012年9月，全槟的WIFI热点将增加到1550个。这项服务最特别之处是，我们订立全马第一个“服务品质等级”协议书（Service Level Availability），服务公司若表现不佳将受惩罚。这能够处理因用户过多而导致的收线不佳或网络慢速问题。同时Redtone将会在现有的750个热点及750个新的热点提供50MB的回程线路（backhaul） 。
槟州发展机构电讯服务公司 (PDCTelco) 是PDC Premier Holdings 私人有限公司及 MESB 有限公司的联营公司，各占60%及40%股分。2005年6月，PDCTelco受槟州政府委托，有系统地发展和监督槟州的通讯基础建设。
PDCTelco 于2005年12月28日，获得由通讯及多媒体委员会发出的网络设施供应商执照，过后PDCTelco与Celcom, Digi, Maxis 和 Sapura签署协议，允许他们在槟州确认地点兴建、拥有、租用通讯建筑物。
至今为止，PDCTelco 已经建了电讯塔，拥有28座建筑结构。2010年 PDCTelco 将会兴建45个新的建筑物，租给网络经营者和WiMax 经营者。
欲知详情，可上网www.redtone.com， 或联络BG Tay at Tel: (03) 7725 1908 / 012-202 5898; email: [email protected]