DST makes first foray abroad with broadband service rollout in Sarawak

by Haadi Bakar
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DST yesterday announced its first overseas expansion into Sarawak through a newly formed joint venture commissioned to upgrade the neighbouring state’s network infrastructure with “international quality” broadband service.

The telco, through its subsidiary DST International (B) Sdn Bhd, has forged a partnership with SACOFA Sdn Bhd, Sarawak’s leading ICT infrastructure firm, to form a new JV company, DSTA (DST Sacofa Telecommunications Alliance).

Under the new JV, DST will assist SACOFA in accelerating development of affordable, high-speed broadband service across Sarawak.

SACOFA was contracted to deliver on Sarawak’s ambitious telecommunications and broadband coverage targets, in line with the company’s vision of “connecting Sarawak to the future”. 

The collaboration draws on the strengths of SACOFA as an infrastructure provider and DST as an retail service provider (RSP).

“DSTA’s business objectives include the acquisition, management, maintenance or provision of network facilities, network service, applications service and content applications service,” DST said in a statement.

The exchange of documents between Radin Sufri Radin Basiuni, Acting of CEO of DST and
Mohamed Zaid Zaini, Managing Director of SACOFA, marking the partnership.

Market expansion

DST Acting CEO Radin Sufri Radin Basiuni said the JV marked the telco’s first market expansion outside of Brunei as a potential RSP player.

“We are excited to have built on our existing cordial bilateral relationship with SACOFA as our platform for expansion. We hope this partnership can continue to enhance the good bilateral relationship between Brunei and Sarawak,” he added.

Both companies inked their first MoU for strategic collaboration back in November of 2017 in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Meanwhile, SACOFA Managing Director Mohamed Zaid Zaini praised DST for its bold entry into the Sarawak market.

“By combining our complementing skillsets and experience, we are confident of good synergy to achieve our objectives which will ultimately benefit Sarawak,” the managing director said in a statement.

An aerial view of Kuching, Sarawak.

He expressed hope that the JV would fulfill the agenda of the Sarawak-Brunei Darussalam Bilateral Cooperation Committee, which SACOFA is also a part of.

Since launching its propretiary FTTx solution – SACOFA Open Fibre Infra Access (SOFIA) – last year, the Kuching-based company has shifted its focus towards ‘openness’ in a bid to allow RSPs to enter the Sarawak market using its turnkey platform.

This open concept, Mohamed Zaid said, is in line with the firm’s corporate mission to promote sharing of facilities.

Both Radin and Mohamed Zaid exchanged documents to formalise the new JV during the the closing ceremony of the two-day International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) at the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching yesterday.

The exchange was witnessed by the Chief Minister of Sarawak YAB Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Abang Haji Openg and the Minister of Transport and Communications (Brunei) Yang Berhormat Dato Seria Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof.

Also present was YB Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Minister For Industrial And Entrepreneur Development; and Second Minister For Urban Development and Natural Resources.

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In 2017, DST International (a subsidiary of DST) and SACOFA (Sacofa Sdn Bhd), Sarawak’s leading ICT infrastructure company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a strategic collaboration to bring international broadband quality to Sarawak. Today, DST International and SACOFA have officially announced their partnership via a Joint Venture Agreement in a ceremony to mark the exchange of documents. Witnessing the event was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof, the Minister of Transport and Communications in Brunei and YAB Datuk (Dr) Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, Chief Minister of Sarawak. The exchange occured between Radin Sufri Radin Basiuni, Acting CEO of DST for DST International and Mohamed Zaid Zaini, Managing Director of SACOFA for SACOFA at the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) held at the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching, Sarawak. Also in attendance was Pengiran Hajah Kartini binti Pengiran Haji Tahir, Consul General of Brunei Darussalam. DST, which has been the leading info-telecommunications provider in Brunei for more than 20 years will contribute its expertise and experience to the roll out of broadband services to the market. The partnership also marks DST’s first market expansion out of Brunei. #dstbn #dsti #dsta #sacofa #brunei #malaysia #kuching #sarawak #broadband #idecs #digitaleconomy

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