Malaysia awards eight 4G licenses

Dylan Bushell-Embling
Daily News

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has awarded 2,600-MHz 4G licenses to eight companies, including a brand new market entrant.

The regulator this week awarded licenses to Maxis, Axiata, DiGi, P1, REDtone Marketing, U Mobile, YTL and newcomer Puncak Semangat.

Announcingthe allocation, the regulator said existing operators will be able to use the allocation to expand the capacity of their mobile broadband networks.

The regulator added that the introduction of a new player “is expected to bring fresh ideas and innovations to the market.”

But CIMB Research has questioned the decision to allocate the largest block of spectrum – 40 MHz – to Puncak Semangat, accordingto the Sun Daily.

In a report, the firm said that while MCMC is believed to have made the decision because it was impressed with the new entrant's business proposal, it is unlikely to prove much of a threat to existing operators as it does not have any 2G or 3G coverage of its own.

This means the company is probably going to need to strike a roaming deal with the major players to offer these services.

P1 Networks CEO Michael Lai said the company is “thrilled to have been granted access to 20MHz of 2.6 GHz TD spectrum [and] excited to be able to offer this next generation of 4G technology to Malaysians.”

Maxis has meanwhile revealed plans to activate LTE sites inKuching and Kota Kinabaluin the East in 2013.

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