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Telekom Malaysia pumps up mobile network investment

Telekom Malaysia Berhad said it will invest RM900 million this year, three times the amount allocated last year, to improve wholly-owned subsidiary Telekom Cellular's mobile network infrastructure.

Telekom Malaysia Berhad said Tuesday it will invest RM900 million this year, three times the amount allocated last year, to improve wholly-owned subsidiary Telekom Cellular's mobile network infrastructure.

KUALA LUMPUR--Telekom chief executive Md Khir Abdul Rahman said it is imperative to upgrade TMTouch mobile network and enhance the overall quality of service--"the only way to win market share, given the highly competitive telecommunication business landscape."

He was speaking to reporters after the company's 16th annual general meeting (AGM) and extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

He said efforts to optimize the network had been ongoing for the last six months. The company is currently in the second stage to improve mobile coverage from 40 percent to 85 percent nationwide by year end.

According to Khir, the mobile business unit expects to be profitable mid next year, and is on the right track to profitability.

Total subscribers for TMTouch have touched the one million mark, recording a 200 percent rise between January and December last year. The chief executive also targeted to secure an additional 500,000 to one million subscribers by year-end.

During the AGM, Telekom chairman Muhammad Radzi Mansor revealed that other business offerings from Telekom had also marked a significant growth for the past year.

As of 31 December 2000, there were 35,000 ISDN subscribers, a 94 percent hike from 18,000 subscribers in 1999. Telekom's corporate information superhighway (COINS) service increased 30.5 percent to 124,000 users. Leased line business recorded a mere 4.9 percent increase from 61,000 in 1999 to 64,000 users a year later.

The Group recorded RM8.816 million in revenue for year 2000. Financial results for first quarter 2001 will be made available by end this month.