Malaysia to issue four WiMAX licences: minister

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10, 2006 (AFP) – Malaysia will issue up to four licences to telecommunication operators to provide “fourth generation” wireless high speed Internet services, a senior minister said Tuesday. The government in July cancelled the original tender for the WiMAX 2.3 gigahertz spectrum, saying that the specifications were not in line with the ministry’s policy.

“There will be three or four licences available but I may roll out two licences first,” energy, water and communications minister Lim Keng Yaik was quoted as saying by the Bernama news agency.

Lim declined to say when the licences would be issued.

The original tender had attracted bids from 17 companies, including Malaysia’s top communications firm Maxis Communications and DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd.

WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It is similar to the more familiar WiFi (wireless fidelity) that most laptops are equipped with, but has a higher capacity and operates across much longer distances.