A SECOND round of bidding for the remaining two blocks of 3G (IMT-2000) spectrum may be in the offing soon. It is expected to be based on a “beauty contest’’ style of bidding.
Industry sources said the Government was still debating whether to open the bids to foreign parties and if it should limit them to only telecommunication companies or open to any party so that the winners could build the infrastructure and lease it to more service providers. Spectrum is fast becoming a commodity globally.
The Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is believed to be working out the details for the award of the two additional 2 X 15 megahertz blocks of spectrum.
In early 2002, the Government via MCMC invited applications to bid on a beauty contest basis so that only the “fittest’’ would win the three spectrums it was offering then.
Five companies made submissions, but the Government, after several months of deliberation, decided to only award two spectrums, one each to Telekom Malaysia Bhd and UMTS, a unit of Maxis Communications Bhd.
Both companies paid RM50mil each for the spectrum that would be for a 15-year period.
The three other bidders that were not successful were Technology Resources Industries Bhd (now Celcom (M) Bhd), TIME Dotcom Bhd and little-known Sarawak based E-Touch Sdn Bhd.
It is unclear who the takers for the two new spectrums will be, but of late, Digi.com Bhd has indicated its interest in a 3G spectrum.
That is certainly a change to its earlier policy of favouring a mobile virtual network operator concept.
DiGi had decided at the very last minute to abstain from making a submission during the first round of 3G bids.
Both Telekom and Maxis are planning for a commercial rollout of 3G-based services this year.