KUALA LUMPUR, 31 July 2007 â€“ Today, Malaysia comes a step closer to realising the world’s first commercial deployment of High Altitude Platforms (HAPS) as a supporting infrastructure for the successful provisioning of broadband communications services.
This is marked by the formation of the HAPS Working Group by the Malaysian Technical Standards Forum Bhd (MTSFB) to develop technical codes, standards, service parameters, and guidelines on HAPS Technology and Services.
To date, the HAPS Working Group comprises of some 20 members who represent parties within the communication, broadcast and academic sectors, as well as relevant government bodies. The number of members is expected to increase as developments by the HAPS Working Group gets underway.
Rizal Datuk Haji Abdul Malek, senior manager at MTSFB, said that the formation of the HAPS Working Group represents a continual effort by the regulators to review optimal technologies that national carriers can adopt; to best roll out services that meets the country’s vision for broadband connectivity.
“In a way, the HAPS Working Group embody the efforts of regulators such as MCMC and MTSFB to realise the Government’s targets under the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the Malaysian Information, Communications and Multimedia Services (MyICMS 886) blueprint,” he says.
Abdul Majid Abdullah, chairman of the HAPS Working Group, explains that HAPS refers to the use of aircraft hovering at stratospheric levels (ie. 20 kilometers from the ground) to provide immediate, nationwide access to broadband connectivity at cost levels that are significantly lower than anything commercially available today.
National Broadband Plan (NBP) is achievable with HAPS’ support
Recently, the Malaysian government upped its nationwide target for broadband penetration to 50 per cent among households by 2010, from the current 12 per cent or 5.5 million.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that broadband penetration would be limited to 50 per cent because the Government currently could not afford the cost for 100 per cent deployment – estimated at some RM56 Billion via existing methods and technologies.
To this end, HAPS technology is proposed as one of the most viable means to date to help achieve the country’s NBP at full nationwide coverage, at a cost that is significantly lower than stated.
Abdul Majid says, “Research has provided strong indication that HAPS could be the fastest (to deploy), most reliable and cost-effective way to meet the government’s goal for immediate and pervasive broadband connectivity of 512 kilobit per second (kbps) to every corner of the country.”
“HAPS has been extensively researched and developed for numerous projects around the world for the past 15 years. I am confident that with the commitment and sincerity of this HAPS Working Group, Malaysia will pioneer the first commercial HAPS deployment in the world with immense succcess.”
He adds that the set up of the HAPS Working Group means more than the industry’s advocation for a specific technology, but as a conscientious effort to achieve a greater social economic impact via the NBP’s vision.
MTSFB, which plays a crucial role to the development and eventual adoption of new technologies in the local communications industry, is a technical standards set up of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). It is responsible for the managing and handling of issues relating to technical standards and codes in Malaysia. Up to 10 Working Groups have been formed by MTSFB so far, amongst others being the 3rd Generation (3G) Working Group, Wireless Broadband (WiMax) Working Group and Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Working Group.
About Malaysian Technical Standards Forums Bhd (MTFS Bhd)
MTFS Bhd was officially designated by MCMC in October 2004. It is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the standards, technical codes, network interoperability and operation issues; as well as to develop, recommend, modify, update and seek the registration of technical codes from the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
At present MTSFB has formed 10 active Working Groups focusing on Digital Terrestrial Television, Digital Sound Broadcasting, Quality of Services for Public Cellular, Powerline Communication, Next Generation Network (NGN), Broadband, IPv6 and others. Recently MTSFB has submitted 10 codes to MCMC for adoption and be registered.
MTSFB is widening its function when the National Standards body, SIRIM Berhad and Department of Standards Malaysia (DSM) appointed MTSFB as the Standards Writing Organization (SWO) in 2005 in developing Malaysian Standards on telecommunications technology. For more information, visit www.mtsfb.org.my
QucomHaps Holdings Limited
QucomHaps Holdings Limited is a telecommunication infrastructure company based in Dublin, Ireland. QucomHaps delivers stratospheric communication infrastructure service â€“ High Altitude Platforms (HAPS) using piloted M55 high altitude aircrafts carrying communication equipment that is connected to existing and standardized local and international ground gateway equipment. QucomHaps offers the ONLY commercial HAPS service available in the world today.
QucomHaps Malaysia Sdn Bhd
QucomHaps Malaysia Sdn Bhd (QHM) is a subsidiary of QucomHaps. QHM will deliver the HAPS service nationwide in Malaysia to the key network players within the following mediums: mobile telecommunications companies, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and broadcasting companies.
For more information, visit www.qucomhaps.com