The government is moving right on track with its digital transformation efforts, bringing Brunei closer to greater accessibility for high speed connectivity and better mobile infrastructure.
This was said by the Minister of Transport and Info-Communications YB Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusof, in a message delivered by Ministry of Transport and Info-Communications (MTIC) Permanent Secretary Mohd Nazri Mohd Yusof at the recent Digital Economy Summit held at The Makerspace, Berakas.
“Our mobile broadband penetration has reached 130 percent by 2018. With the ongoing infrastructural upgrade, we also hope to take this further by empowering our users and stakeholders through enhanced processes, better governance, wider choices of services; all enabled by digital platform and smart devices,” he said.
He added: “Ongoing initiatives include reviewing and improving processes and services, with the involvement from multi-stakeholders to prepare Brunei for its digital agenda.”
Through the message, the minister also outlined some of the initiatives which includes the establishment of a Digital Economy Council aimed to provide strategic policy direction for digital economy progress; and the restructuring of Brunei’s ICT Telco industry to open up a more vibrant competition via up-to-date technologies.
At the same time, the minister also shared that Brunei’s Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry (AITI) has completed its study on the nation’s readiness to embrace 5G market.
“A set of policy recommendations from this 5G Study including market, regulatory and network operator readiness, spectrum outlook and allocation, amongst others, will subsequently be considered for the final endorsement by the MTIC,” he said.
YB Dato Mutalib further explained that what these examples illustrate include the various efforts of the private sector and the academia in digitalising their businesses, as well as embracing technologies in improving their profitability and sustain their operations.
“In terms of our performance so far – I would like to refer to the Measuring Information Society report issued by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU),” he said.
“This report features the ICT Development Index that measures the progress in ICT connectivity and usage in 176 countries,” he added.
The minister said Brunei was ranked 53rd in 2017’s ICT Development Index, up by one place from its position in the previous year. The ministry however, is still waiting for the 2018 report to be published.
“The report also highlighted Brunei for having a high level of ICT access, in relation to the Southeast Asia region and growing telecommunication sector,” the minister said.
“In addition to the above, a recent survey done by BIBD estimates 75 percent of respondents engage in e-Commerce, while 60 percent regularly carryout online banking transaction in this country, marking a positive development for digital economic growth in the country,” he added.
As of 2017, the minister stressed that the info-communication sector had contributed 1.6 percent to Brunei National GDP, against other kinds of economic activities.
“Clearly there is still a large room for improvement for info-communications to be a significant contributor to the growth of our GDP and as a key enabler to the growth of other sectors.” he said.
“As such the support and collaboration between government and industries is vital especially to create a digital ecosystem which are adaptive and future-ready,”
“Hence, relevant stakeholders are encouraged to collaborate and work together towards achieving the Wawasan 2035, to accomplish well-educated and highly skilled people; high quality of life and dynamic and sustainable economy,” the minister added.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN