Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector Transformation Achieves Major Success

In early 2019, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy AND the Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, as Co-Chairmen of the Brunei Digital Economy Council, announced the Information and Communications Technology, ICT Transformation initiative, paving the way for Brunei's digital economy. In that time, Unified National Networks Sendirian Berhad, UNN, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Darussalam Assets Sendirian Berhad, was established to consolidate and upgrade the network infrastructure of the three telecommunication operators: Datastream Technology Sendirian Berhad, DST, Progresif Cellular Sendirian Berhad, Progresif and Telekom Brunei Berhad, TelBru.

DST, Progresif and TelBru have since launched their respective retail service providers; Datastream Digital Sendirian Berhad, Datastream Digital, Progresif Sendirian Berhad, Progresif and imagine Sendirian Berhad, imagine. All retail service providers will focus solely on retail operations with equal access to the network infrastructure provided by UNN. While key service launch dates will vary, consumers can expect 4G, number portability, new product bundles and improvements in the wider availability and quality of services at affordable prices. For the wider economy, it is anticipated that the improvements made to the network infrastructure will have a ripple effect across industries, catalysing growth and innovation across all areas, and creating building blocks that help to sustain and grow local businesses.

The Minister of Transport and Infocommunications stated that the ICT sector is at the forefront of the national effort to digitally transform the country's economy and to enhance the way it does business. From borderless transactions to more personalised services, digital technology has the potential to enrich our lives and unlock new opportunities to propel the economy. The Go Live of retail service providers is a major milestone in the country's strategy to enhance competition in the sector with the aim of stimulating innovation and choice for consumers and businesses. The launch of the number portability pilot, a service in high demand by consumers, will begin tomorrow with limited capacity. Full implementation is expected over the coming months.

The existing telecommunication operators, will transition to focus on human capital and business development as Development Companies. The companies will explore and develop new business opportunities while partnering with local and international enterprises to understand current and future manpower needs. Through these initiatives, the companies will upskill and develop future-ready capabilities amongst employees. Darussalam Assets maintains its commitment that there will be no forced termination of Bruneians, demonstrating its promise that while Brunei undergoes this necessary transformation, employees are taken care of.

The Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy expressed his optimism at the Go Live of the retail service providers and upcoming launch of the Development Companies saying the Go Live is a significant marker of our progress towards becoming a smart nation. The transformation, and these latest developments specifically, will help to spur economic growth in other industries as well as confidence in the MSME segment. The Development Companies will continue to work with partners to provide Bruneians with gainful employment and benefit from Brunei's growing digital economy. With this transformation, the country is on the path to a stronger, more competitive position in the region.

Source: Radio Television Brunei

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