|PETALING JAYA -
Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. ("P1"), Malaysia’s first and leading 4G telco has signed an agreement with eight State-backed companies ("SBC") under the umbrella of Persatuan Penyedia Infrastruktur Telekomunikasi ("PPIT") to further boost its 4G service provision in the country. P1 currently covers 45 per cent of the population and aims hit 65 per cent coverage by 2012.
Michael Lai, P1’s CEO said, “This partnership marks another significant milestone for 4G movement in Malaysia. We now have one agreement with the SBCs, one consolidated partnership and one seamless execution to further enhance the operational efficiency in our 4G network expansion.” In the past, P1 worked with individual States to secure telecommunication tower leases, but this agreement standardizes its commitment to working with all States to further boost its 4G network rollout.
SBCs’ business is telecommunications tower-sharing, where SBCs build, maintain and lease the towers to telco operators. The eight SBCs in this partnership with P1 are Desabina Industries Sdn Bhd (Terengganu), D’Harmoni Telco Infra Sdn Bhd (Johor), Infra Quest Sdn Bhd (Kelantan), Konsortium Jaringan Selangor (Selangor), Perak Integrated Network Services Sdn Bhd (Perak), Perlis Comm Sdn Bhd (Perlis), Rangkaian Minang (NS) Sdn Bhd (Negeri Sembilan) and Yiked Bina Sdn Bhd (Kedah).
The partnership with SBCs further marks P1’s commitment in rolling out LTE and at the same time supporting the country’s national broadband initiative target of 75 per cent of household broadband penetration by 2015. Immediately upon being allocated the 2.6 GHz spectrum from the government in late 2010, P1 began preparations to transition its WiMAX network to LTE namely being accepted into the elite Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI); plus numerous partnerships with some of the world’s largest LTE proponents – China Mobile Limited and Qualcomm International. P1’s Korean strategic partner and investor SK Telecom is also expected to value-add to P1’s LTE rollout with the former’s head start in LTE deployment in South Korea early last month.
Lai conveyed that SBCs play an integral part in achieving Malaysia’s National Broadband Initiative goals specifically in bringing 4G broadband to the people. “SBCs are often regarded as merely one-stop agencies when in fact SBCs are the unsung heroes in developing Malaysia’s telecommunications landscape,” Lai said. He added, “P1 is renowned as the leading 4G hub in Malaysia and the region first with 4G WiMAX/TD-LTE networks. In this regard, SBCs will continue to play a major role in providing the necessary infrastructure so that Malaysians can enjoy high speed 4G broadband.”
Dr. Haji Ahmad Kamal Zakaria, President of PPIT and CEO of Yiked Bina Sdn Bhd said, “SBCs have become a catalyst in developing a well-structured and rapid master plan for the development of telecommunications in Malaysia. To date, more than 2000 towers have been constructed by SBCs, with an investment of over RM900 million. With the support from SBCs, we hope to see P1’s coverage expand even more rapidly and together we can achieve the government’s aspiration of Broadband for All.”
Seven SBCs were represented at the partnership formalization ceremony that took place at P1’s headquarters in Petaling Jaya: -
1. Dr. Haji Ahmad Kamal Zakaria, President of PPIT and CEO Yiked Bina Sdn Bhd
2. Dato' Seri Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan, Executive Chairman, Perak Integrated Network Services Sdn Bhd
3. Datuk Zawati Abd Rahman, Finance Director, Konsortium Jaringan Selangor
4. Dato' Ramli Abd Rahman, Managing Director, Perlis Comm Sdn Bhd
5. Tuan Haji Mohd Rehat Ahmad, COO, D'Harmoni Telco Infra Sdn Bhd
6. Tuan Haji Mohd Sabri bin Abdullah, Chairman, Infra Quest Sdn Bhd
7. Tuan Haji Md Isa Salim, Managing Director, Rangkaian Minang (NS) Sdn Bhd