Three Musketeers Not

Three N.29 Batang Air Musketeers

For all of you who have known the Three would be Musketeers I was talking about in the last two days, please pat yourself in the back. Whatever is going to happen in N.29 Batang Ai, you could be right or almost right.

Probably only Mr. Adiman Ajem will know if he is reading this posting. Again I have to thank him for the bit of information that he shared with me which will be very helpful for everyone concerned. And finally we let the drums roll shall we to present the result.................

The Three N.29 Batang Ai Musketeers (remember this is Nadai Nama Nama Recipe) are...........

From left: Mr. Johnny Chuat, Ex YB Jawah Gerang and Mr. Malcolm Mussen

Not the Three above!!

My mind was on another thing when I was talking abot the Three Musketeers. One has to remember that the Three Musketeers were actually buddies with their own set of characters. They joined forces with the famous cry "All for One and One for All" and their presence during this coming By Election to fight the lack of Communication Capacity in Lubok Antu area during this time. One can imagine, with thousands of people converging into this small town - the networks will certainly be jammed if we assume that one person possess one handphone, the MMSes and SMSes flying will result in a traffic snarl along the already narrow communication highway.

The Three Musketeers coming to the rescue of thier loyal users are the Celcom, Maxis and Digi line service providers

I have to thank the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commissions for responding quickly to the communication needs in Lubok Antu, especially in the area of ensuring communication quality during this next two weeks of electoral process. Depending on the traffic, we are not sure how many people will exactly be in Lubok Antu as both parties are playing their cards close to the chests. For everyone's information this is the email I recieved from Mr. Adiman Ajem which I will reproduce for your viewing.


We had earlier instructed all Celcos to upgrade their respective network coverage & capacity to the optimum level from the period of 27 Mar – 9 April 2009 (14 days) particularly in those surrounding areas where electoral processes i.e. voting, nomination, counting & tallying take place. In fact, upgrading processes are already ongoing in Lubok Antu. Our SWRO personnel will be in Lubok Antu this weekend to assess the coverage. When we attend to critical public events e.g. Pesta Benak, election etc. we are looking into 2 solutions of improving the cellular service i.e.:

1. Upgrading / optimizing the capacity of the current coverage available at the areas concerned; and

2. Expanding the coverage to other surrounding areas.

With respect to upcoming Lubok Antu by-election, we are putting priority on item no.1. Note that the Celcos are facing difficulties in term of expanding their cellular coverage to several polling stations due to remote locations of this stations & the hilly terrains of Lubok Antu hinders line of sight capability to connect backhaul link from the existing towers to the desired temporary cellular base station or Coverage on Wheel (CoW, a mobile base station on vehicle/truck). Hope the authorities & people of Lubok Antu will be able to recognize these difficulties. We assure you that the industry is trying its best to optimize coverage surrounding Lubok Antu town particularly at the Kompleks Sukan Lubok Antu where nomination, counting & tallying processes take place (FYI, Celcom was trying to place their CoW at Kompleks Sukan Lubok Antu few days ago but was not permitted by the authority there; they’ve stationed their CoW somewhere near the tower in Lubok Antu town since then. If in anyway you good self can assist us on this will be most appreciative).

Anyway, below are updates from respective Celcos:

Maxis: As of yesterday, traffic utilization in Lubok Antu town and surrounding areas still manageable (utilization merely 10-15% of the capacity, which is low), they will assess further the situation; if traffic increases within this few days, the will upgrade the current BTS capacity and deploy their CoW unit to a location which has been identified earlier i.e. in Lubok Antu town where the Nomination, Counting, Tallying and several polling stations take place.

Celcom: 1 unit of CoW has been deployed to Lubok Antu town last weekend. Traffic is still manageable but will gradually increase its capacity by 27 March, nearing the electoral process.

DiGi: Call traffic still manageable as of yesterday. Will deploy CoW within these 2-3 days.

I take this opportunity also to brief you that SKMM’s bridging digital divide initiatives in Lubok Antu District is ongoing. To cite a few;

1. Celcom had installed 30 payphones at several longhouses, Govt offices and schools around Lubok Antu under USP program in 2008.

2. Maxis is installing additional residential lines & payphone facilities in Lubok Antu beginning October 2008. So far, 26 payphones have been installed.

3. Maxis will develop a Community Broadband Centre (CBC) at Tapang Pungga area, SPS Batang Ai Fasa II (we hope to be able to commission it by June 2009. the award of the project was in Q4 2008).

4. Three more communications towers to be built under the USP program in San Semanju area, SPS Batang Ai & Engkilili schedule for completion June 2009; Sites just approved by Land & Survey 17 Mar. 2009 and currently Sacofa is preparing for the construction works. This will hopefully improve coverage in Lubok Antu.

Not “Maggie mee” initiatives for sure…

Adiman Bin Ajem

Attached is our cellular coverage drive test along the main roads in Lubok Antu for your reference:
Green : good coverage
Red : poor / no c

Celcom Coverage: Click to enlarge

Maxis Coverage: Click to Enlarge

DIGI Coverage: Click to Enlarge

One would probably ask - why is this so important for the polling process? It is important for everyone concerned. From the voters who needs to know where to go, or the polling agent who needs to inform their repsective parties of the voting progress, and the Presiding Officers needing to report to the Returning Officer on the hour to hour report status of his Polling Station, for the online reporters of the various parties to update their online portals - any network disruption may cause some delay to the smooth running of the polls. So if you are a Digi user, looking at the map above and those areas being covered you may be a bit disadvantaged. Hope these bits of information helps everyone - and i thank Mr. Adiman and MCMC again (and also the Election Commission - Returning Officer for allowing the mobile signal trucks to be stationed near the Counting Hall) for their help.

Three or Four?

Now back to that interesting question: Will there be a fourth candidate because we all know in The Three Musketeers story there are Four! Have a nice weekend and we'll see what happens tomorrow.