THE Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (CMC) will require all fixed-line telecommunications companies in the country to open up their networks by the middle of next year so as to improve telecommunications access to consumers, said the general manager of its Industry Development Division, Bistamam Siru Abdul Rahman.
“We expect them to comply with the ruling by the middle of next year,” Bistamam said when asked to comment on the commission's plan to require telcos to “unbundle” their local loops.
Currently, TIME Dotcom Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Maxis Communication Bhd operate their local loops independently of each other. Unbundling the loops will open up their networks to each other, thus allowing consumers to subscribe to services offered by any of the fixed-line operators.
This means that Maxis and Time fixed-line users will be able to subscribe to such Telekom services as its Internet broadband Streamyx, while Telekom customers will be able to subscribe to services offered by Time and Maxis.
Bistaman said CMC had decided on the move in order to give consumers better services such as broadband and allow operators to share their networks without having to make heavy investments.
The move, he said, was not expected to involve much additional costs to operators; they would be able to gain access to each other's networks by installing their own equipment at the exchanges currently operated by their competitors.
Meanwhile, the CMC might award some time in the future a licence to another company to operate the third generation (3G) mobile network, said Bistaman.
“It is possible for us to award another licence ... we will keep our options open,” he said, noting that CMC had so far only awarded two 3G licences to Maxis and Telekom.