Malaysia awards WiMAX licenses

WiMAX Forum logoYesterday the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) announced the 4 winners of licenses to operate the 2.3GHz WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) spectrum in Malaysia (PDF link to news release).

The 4 winners were:

  1. Bizsurf (M) Sdn Bhd (a unit of YTL-e Solutions Bhd)
  2. Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd (subsidiary of Green Packet and formerly known as MIB Comm Sdn Bhd)
  3. Asiaspace Dotcom Sdn Bhd
  4. Redtone-CNX Broadband Sdn Bhd

The bigger news is that none of the 3 telecom companies in Malaysia won a license. The failure to obtain a WiMAX license isn’t that big a deal to TM and Maxis, who both have 3G licenses, but DiGi has really been left out in the cold again, having failed to win a 3G license also previously. It really looks like our Government doesn’t want any foreigners to have a too big foothold in Malaysian telecommunications. My heart goes out to DiGi – I’m an unabashed DiGi fanboy – but they say they’ll be ok.

The four winners are expected to spend between RM250-RM300 million each to roll out wireless broadband services based on WiMAX in the next 3 years and the MCMC says that their decision is in line with their goal that broadband penetration increases to 75% by 2010 (keep hoping).

My take: I’m actually disappointed that none of the telcos won a license. I think that a telco that also operates a wireless broadband service will usher in fixed-mobile convergence in Malaysia quicker. With WiMAX being operated by the telcos competitors, I’m afraid that switching between cellular and wireless broadband will be less than seamless.

If anything, I hope the news will spur TM Net (the damn slackers!) to buck up its services.

3 Comments on "Malaysia awards WiMAX licenses"

  • Jinny says

    All I’ll say is that my experience with bizsurf and CNX made me curse more in one year than I’ve ever cursed in my lifetime so far.

  • Huh really? I’ve never even heard of them previously.

    Malaysia is doomed to sucky broadband for eternity…

  • scamboy says

    Hi,
    I agree with you, but I believe this is going to be worst than TMNut…as this companies are small and not fully proven yet in the consumer market. Its like suddenly they have a national role…