Malaysia's Celcom investing $98.5M in LTE

Mobile operator's long-term evolution network will go live in January 2013, and it will invest 300 million ringgit (US$98.5 million) over three years to support the next-generation wireless technology.

Malaysian mobile operator Celcom will be investing 300 million ringgit (US$98.5 million) to support ongoing development and modernization of its long-term evolution (LTE) network which is expected to launch LTE services in January 2013.

In a report Wednesday, Teh StarOnline cited Celcom CEO Seri Shazalli Ramly to say the investment will be spread across three years. The company had built several sites to demonstrate LTE's capabilities, he added. In separate report by Bernama on Wednesday, Shazalli said the mobile operator will be able to deliver LTE services in January 2013 once it gets government approval.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission announced late-Wednesday that eight companies, including Celcom, were allowed to access the country's 2600MHz spectrum band for LTE services. The other seven companies were DiGi Telecommunications, Maxis Broadband, Packet One Networks, Puncak Semangat, REDtone, U Mobile, and YTL Communications.

The Malaysian government last year was criticized for its distribution of LTE licenses, with market analysts questioning whether the market was sufficient to support nine licensees. 

Elsewhere in the Southeast Asia region, Singapore's three mobile operators have already launched LTE services, with M1 the  first to offer commercial LTE services in June 2011 . In the Philippines , LTE networks went live in 2011.


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