Malaysia issues WiMAX licences to four companies

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16, 2007 (AFP) – Malaysia on Friday issued licences to four telecommunication operators to provide fourth generation (4G) wireless high speed Internet services nationwide this year. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said the winning bidders are Bizsurf (M) Sdn Bhd, MIB Comm Sdn Bhd, Redtone-CNX Broadband Sdn Bhd and Asiaspace Dotcom Sdn Bhd.

Bizsurf is a unit of YTL e-Solutions, which is part of Malaysian conglomerate YTL Group with interests ranging from construction to property and power.

In a statement, MCMC said all licences, except Redtone-CNX’s, are for peninsular Malaysia. Redtone-CNX will operate its WiMAX licence in East Malaysia on Borneo island.

The companies are expected to invest up to 300 million ringgit (85.7 million dollars) within the first three years of the service, MCMC said.

It said the rolling out of the WiMAX 2.3 gigahertz spectrum network nationwide is part of the government’s target for broadband penetration to reach 75 percent of households by 2010.

“We expect winners to quickly roll out the service to 25 percent of the population in the area given to them by the end of the year with a service provision o