Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi launched East Malaysia International Internet Gateway (EM-IIG) at Kampung Rampayan Laut, Kota Belud. Also present was Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Pix by Edmund Samunting

KOTA BELUD: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi launched East Malaysia International Internet Gateway (EM-IIG) at Kampung Rampayan Laut, here today.

The project by homegrown cellular and communication solutions provider Xiddig Cellular Communications Sdn Bhd aims to provide high-speed bandwidth throughout Sabah.

Zahid said the project, which is supported by both the Federal and state governments, is important not only in developing the economy here, but also to ensure that connectivity supports the competitiveness of domestic and international trade.

He said the company has estimated that the project will generate 4,000 jobs.

The first phase of the project sees a 60 terabyte fibre-optic submarine cable from the beach landing site interconnect with East Asia Crossing - City to City (EAC-C2C) networks.

Phase 2 will see an interconnection with all existing telcos in the state and boost the telecommunications and Internet bandwidth state-wide.

The next phase will see a state-of-the-art data centre built at the 9.3 hectare location.

"All three phases are expected to be completed in two years time and will cost RM850 million through a private funding initiative," said XiddiG chief executive officer Musa A. Rahman.

After the project completion, XiddiG will also be involved in the Communications and Multimedia Ministry's efforts to expand the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia to Sabah, centred in the Kota Belud district.