YTL uses 4G to «leapfrog» region

22 May 2017

Malaysian mobile operator YTL plans to speed up the pace of digital innovation as it challenges incumbents in its home market, says the company’s CEO Wing K Lee.

Lee is set to address the CommunicAsia2017 Summit today on the subject of “A Nationwide 4G Leapfrog.” He says YTL’s six-year journey from Wimax start-up to operator of Malaysia’s first 4G LTE service in June last year has “lifted the standard of competitiveness” on mobile internet.

Although granted a Wimax license at the same time as other new competitors, YTL took longer to go to market with its product and spent more time building its geographical coverage.

It followed up its original 2010 launch with its LTE network, built by network partner Samsung Electronics, which also offers VoLTE. The network covers around 85% of Malaysia with data speeds as high as 100 Mbps.

YTL’s “digital roadmap” and experience serves as a regional case study on “leapfrogging”: using new technology in a greenfield environment to create better infrastructure than more advanced areas which developed their tech infrastructure earlier on legacy frameworks.

“As a completely greenfield player, we had the good fortune to start from a clean slate, free of legacy processing and thinking,” says Lee. “So we created a digital-first experience-from automation to care-for both our customers and our dealers.”

Skill-sets of the century

Another game-changer came four years ago, when YTL won an open tender from Malaysia’s Ministry of Education to provide 4G broadband in all public schools.

The operator has partnered with Google to deploy 4G Chromebooks to schools throughout Malaysia, integrating Google Apps for Education into its cloud-based learning platform which supports 10 million students, teachers, and parents.

Cloud cover over Malaysia

Given the national footprint, YTL uses a cloud-based approach to enable “anywhere, anytime learning” and instill a “21st century skill-set” in young Malaysians.

Lee says the way forward for YTL was to continue to invest in the cloud to create a new platform to deliver value.

The education project, he says, was a good example of how the company wants to use connectivity in a transformative way to create new services and products, often in collaborative partnerships.

“We won’t play the same game as legacy players,” he says. “We’re just getting warmed up and will continue to speed up the pace and diversity of innovation.”

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