M'sian, Philippine firms sign wireless broadband deal

Malaysia's Allied Digital Infonet and Philippine-based SkyTel form partnership to deploy wireless broadband service, based on digital video broadcast-satellite, in Metro Manila.

KUALA LUMPUR--Malaysian broadband wireless technology provider Allied Digital Infonet has formed a partnership with Philippine-based operator SkyTel to roll out a wireless broadband service in Metro Manila.

Essentially a digital video broadcast-satellite (DVB-S) transmitting terrestrially, the service--coined Advanced Information Delivery And Access Solutions (AIDAAS)--was jointly developed Allied Digital and its Ukrainian partners.

Aida Mohd Adib, director of Allied Digital, said the deal will see SkyTel deploy 800 customer premise equipment (CPEs) around Metro Manila in a proof of concept exercise in September.

"The number of CPEs is expected to increase to 25,000 by the first quarter of next year," Adib told ZDNet Asia in a phone interview.

She said the partnership will bring a new option to Philippine consumers, and is a milestone for DVB-S as it proves the viability of the technology.

She noted that cabling a city with fiber optics is an expensive task and is a major feat in dense metropolitan areas. Adib added that AIDAAS is a good last-mile solution, which can help bridge the digital divide quickly due to its low-cost and easy deployment.

"We aim to cover 10 percent of the population in Metro Manila," she said.

Aida said the AIDAAS transmitter, or the central station, transmits data within a radius of 40 kilometers and has a transmission capacity of up to 2 gigabits per second (Gbps). The system, she added, transmits at downlink speeds of up to 30 megabits per second (Mbps) and uplink speeds of up to 2.5Mbps.

Asked how this system is different from other wireless broadband services such as WiMax and other proprietary systems, Aida said: "We use the KU band for our service, our throughputs are much faster and our coverage is much larger." KU, or Kurtz-under band, is deployed primarily for satellite communications.

AIDAAS has the ability to host an array of applications ranging from broadband Internet, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), video conferencing, IPTV and digital broadcast, she added.

Edwin Yapp is a freelance IT writer based in Malaysia.