More than half of the population in Brunei are Internet users, a steady increase of nine per cent over the previous year, according to 2007 figures from the Authority for Info-communications Technology of Brunei (AiTi).
Brunei recorded a total of 199,532 Internet users last year, making up 50.8 per cent of the total population.
The statistics also show that about 59 per cent of Internet subscribers used broadband services in 2007, as opposed to about 50 per cent the previous year.
To further facilitate the growth of Internet use in Brunei, AiTi has issued a tender of licenses for the commercial deployment of wireless broadband services in the 2,300 MHz to 2,400 MHz range.
AiTi Chief Executive Pg Hj Md Zain Pg Hj Abd Razak said that the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) tender is part of AiTi's drive to introduce "a more competitive environment by gradually liberalizing the market".
He was speaking during a clarification meeting for those interested in the tender which was released in September this year.
It is hoped that the interests of the providers are well-protected in view of the limited market size, while also providing a wider spectrum of services and offers of more choices to consumers in all parts of the country.
"This BWA technology is also part of our plan to build a national broadband infrastructure using a mixture of both wired and wireless technologies," he added.
To date, 24 companies have approached AiTi to collect the BWA tender document and the authority is still open to interested parties until the dosing date of November 21, 2008.
Present to answer questions and explain the finer points of AiTi's licensing process at the Sheraton Utama Hotel was Deputy. Chief Executive Pg 1-35 Mohd S all eh Pg Hj Aji and Assistant Chief Executive (Regulatory and Technology Group) Hj Jailani Buntar.
Internet services in Brunei have increased since the middle of the 1990s when the Telecommunications Department came out with its BruNet Service in 1995 offering dial-up Internet service.
Now, people have the choice to upgrade to broadband Internet services, wi-fi hotspots and leased line services, or make use of 3G mobile systems which allow users to surf on the go.
There are three telecommunications service providers-in Brunei, including Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru), DST Communications SDN BHD (DSTCom, and B-Mobile Communications SDN BHD (B-Mobile).