WITH 4,000 cellular sites in the country, Celcom (M) Bhd only needs to install 80 new sites for the Kuala Lumpur, Cyberjaya and Putrajaya areas, said group chief executive officer Datuk Ramli Abbas.
As for nationwide coverage, it is in the midst of re-evaluating its strategy and is in discussions with the other two operators on how it could share sites so that there is better coordination in the building of future sites. Over the past three years, Celcom has invested RM2.83bil in capital expenditure: RM1.3bil in 2001, RM1.018bil in 2002 and RM516mil last year. For Ramli, the challenge to implement Time 1 and Time 2 is about finding suitable sites that meet environmental and aesthetic conditions. Getting approvals is as challenging and could take between three and six months.
“Celcom has the most extensive network coverage which spans more than 95% of all the total populated areas in the country,” he said.
Celcom wants to expand coverage and the least of its problems is procurement equipment. However,“as a responsible corporate citizen, we have to consider the outflow of funds as most of the equipment would be imported.” he said.
“It is our responsibility as service providers to provide the best level of services to customers and heeding the (Energy, Water and Communications) Minister's call, all mobile operators are committed to cooperate to meet the timelines set.
“We have cooperated in the past but the future focus should be to share infrastructure to speed up the process which also ultimately reduce costs for all,” he added.
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