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M'sian operator to offer WiMax services in S'pore

Malaysia's Packet One signs deal that, if approved, will allow company to assume WiMax license to operate facilities and offer wireless broadband access in Singapore.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Green Packet, through its newly incorporated subsidiary, Packet One (P1) Singapore, has inked an agreement to take over Pacnet's Facilities-based Operator (FBO) license and Wireless Broadband Access (WBA) rights in the island-state.

The deal, if approved, will effectively allow P1 to provide WiMax services in Singapore. The wireless broadband service provider is also a WiMax licensee in Malaysia. Announced Thursday evening, the new agreement is pending approval from Singapore's ICT regulator Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).

According to P1, it currently sits among the world's top five WiMax operators in terms of network size and subscriber base. The company added that the deal will enable better roaming capabilities between the two neighboring countries.

"Our latest partnership will enable Green Packet to support the highly demanding mobile data market in Singapore, enabling consumers to enjoy world class WiMax solutions," Pacnet Singapore's country manager Jacques Grezaud, said in the press statement. "The transfer of this FBO license and WBA spectrum right in Singapore is in line with our strategy of divesting non-core assets and growing our partner network to better serve our customers."

Citing figures from Informa, P1 said the subscriber base of high-speed mobile services is growing, where Singapore's top three wireless broadband operators increased their subscriber numbers on average by some 150 percent to 710,000 subscribers last year.

Frequent travelers between the two countries also stand to gain with the improved roaming experience. Last year's tourism figures put cross-border visitor arrivals between both nations totaled almost 11.7 million.

P1 has committed to offering supplementary bandwidth, which it said would help minimize network congestion for existing telcos, and plans to provide mobility capabilities that fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) players can bundle to complement their services.

Ideal testbed site
Singapore's advanced mobile data demand and tech-savvy market represents ideal conditions for P1 to reference and testbed its products, according to the Malaysia-based company. In particular, the Republic will aid the operator to "develop innovative seamless mobility technology and applications".

It added that the proximity of P1's Singapore outlet to Malaysia also allows the company to tap existing services in Kuala Lumpur, such as billing systems and customer service support, thus, leading to cost savings.

C. C. Puan, Green Packet's group CEO and group managing director, said in the press statement: "P1's extension into Singapore is a first step toward the company's mission to build a multi-market, pan-regional footprint and to become Southeast Asia's leading 4G WiMax operator."

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