Malaysia to reallocate 900, 1800 spectrum

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission have revealed plans to reallocate spectrum in the 900-MHz and 1800-MHz bands among four players by August this year.

The regulator will assign spectrum in the two bands to Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile for an upfront fee.

Licenses will have a 15-year term. The upfront fee would replace a current annual apparatus assignment fee in a move to provide long term certainty for the spectrum.

Announcing the move, MCMC chairman Dato' Sri Dr Halim Shafie said these four operators were selected  because they already have sufficient infrastructure to expand on.

“The reallocation takes into account the development of the sector and the nation as a whole. Specifically, a high priority has been put on communications coverage, quality of service and affordability of services,” he said.

“While we are going to charge a fee for the spectrum, we recognize that the players need to have sufficient capital to introduce and expand services.”

In a statement, Maxis noted that the reallocation would  reduce the spectrum available to 2 x 10 MHz in the 900-MHz band and and 2 x 20 MHz in the 1800-MHz band.

“We... note the Commission’s focus on expanding the available spectrum for mobile broadband, notably the 700-MHz as well as optimizing the 2300-MHz and 2600-MHz bands,” the company said. “We only received the notice yesterday, and will make further announcement when we have carried out detailed review and further clarity on this subject matter.”

Digi meanwhile commented that the move to add certainty to the allocation of the two bands will allow for better investment planning and network design.

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