John C. Tanner
22 Nov 2010
YTL Communications has become the fourth and final operator to join Malaysia’s Wimax party, unwrapping its “Yes” branded network on Friday.
YTL says it plans to spend $850 million on building out the network, which is more than two years behind the August 2008 launch deadline set by regulator MCMC.
Yes includes a fully-interconnected VoIP network, plus 1,500 base stations covering 65% of the population, and several devices including a dongle, a home modem, a Wi-Fi hot spot device and a Wimax handset from Samsung.
“We wanted to build a converged voice and data network, not just Wimax with a voice component, so for us, getting the technology right and the business model right was the most important thing,” said YTL Communications executive director Yeoh Seck Hong when asked about the delay.
The VoIP portion – part of an integrated web portal that also supports SMS, email and IM – assigns users a phone number with a 018 prefix. YTL said it had secured interconnect agreements with all local operators, to include international connectivity, to allow users to call anyone on or off the network.
While users can only send and receive calls via internet-enabled devices like PCs, laptops or tablets – or via the Samsung Wimax phone – they can also use the voice service anywhere in the world, as long as they can get a net connection.