SIEMENS Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Tabung Haji Technologies and Symphony House Bhd want to set up a joint venture company to provide network infrastructure so that the country’s three mobile operators can lease their facilities to bridge the gap in the provision of rural mobile coverage.
The three operators are obligated to provide up to 95% coverage to populated areas in the country by end of next year under the Timeline 2 set by the Government.
“We have had discussions and we expect these to be concluded very soon. The results have to be shown by the end of next year and that means the joint venture has to be operational by this year,” Siemens Malaysia president and CEO Rainer Althoff said after presenting his paper at the two-day International CEO Conference in Kota Kinabalu.
“We are proposing a joint venture concept to fulfill the Malaysian Government’s rural mobile network coverage in the most efficient way or T2 Net. It is our idea and a solution for the operators,” he said.
Under the T2 Net concept, Siemens would provide the technology, Tabung Haji the financing and Symphony House, IT management. There would be two joint ventures - one which would involve the company owing assets (asset company) in terms of network infrastrucutre and the other for the operations and management company (O&M company).
Asked if there was a commitment by the three operators to lease the facilities, Althoff said: “We have to talk to them.”
On whether the three operators would be allowed to buy a stake in either the asset or O&M company, he said the shareholding structure had yet to be finalised and was open for discussions. Both the asset and O&M companies would have different shareholding structures.
The Government wants the three operators to provide coverage and these operators are hoping that they can secure funds from the Government to do so under the universal fund concept whereby they part with a percentage of their income every year towards the fund.
The fund is managed by the Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for rural telephony requirements.
However, Siemens and its partners are providing an alternative. Whether they want to team up or buy access is not known as this juncture.