Celcom Axiata Bhd and newcomer to the telecommunications business, Puncak Semangat, is reported to be eyeing a 4G-LTE tie-up. According to a The Edge, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two companies will be signed soon. The agreement to share network and resources is similar to the U Mobile-Maxis 3G RAN Sharing deal signed in April 2012.
Puncak Semangat is one of the licensees of network spectrum, awarded by The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), holding a lion’s share of the 30Mhz spectrum. The young telco recently dropped plans to acquire Jaring Communications Sdn Bhd, Malaysia’s first internet service provider.
Awarded licensees of the 20Mhz spectrum include Celcom Axiata Bhd, Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd, DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, U Mobile Sdn Bhd, Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd, RedTone Marketing Sdn Bhd and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd. Asiaspace occupies the smallest spectrum of 10Mhz.
MCMC’s spectrum allocation documents encourages spectrum sharing and partnerships to reduce duplication of physical network assest, hence shared resources and cost savings for involved parties.
A Celcom-Puncak Semangat deal would mean a wider spectrum offering more flexibility and better service packages. Puncak Semangat will have access to Celcom’s existing infrastructure and will enjoy cost savings in the partnership.
Celcom recently signed an agreement with DiGi for tower sharing.
The nine telco players are awaiting MCMC approval for LTE, and most have upgraded their networks and are LTE-ready. DiGi ran trials and was LTE-ready in 2011. Network upgrades will complete by 2013.
Celcom is also LTE-ready, through its infrastructure partners Ericsson and Huawei.
Packet One’s LTE network is also ready to run, awaiting MCMC approval. The WIMAX operator has been running LTE trials since 2010.
Puncak Semangat, together with RedTone and i-Media Broadcasting Solutions was recently shortlisted by MCMC for Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcast (DTTB). The initiative is to develop infrastructure that would provide the necessary platform for current Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasters to migrate from the current analogue system to a digital broadcasting format.
The selected company is to roll out the DTTB services to the public, early 2014. Full nationwide coverage was targeted to be by end 2015.