Axiata, Puncak Semangat to share 4G spectrum


PETALING JAYA: Celcom Axiata Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd’s Malaysian outfit, has signed a master collaboration agreement with Altel Communications Sdn Bhd involving exclusive spectrum-sharing and the appointment of the former to provide mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services to the latter.

Altel Communications is understood to be a unit of Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd. Puncak Semangat was the only one out of the eight companies awarded with 2x20MHz of the the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 2600MHz spectrum by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to provide 4G services.

In a stock exchange announcement, Axiata said: “Upon the execution of the master agreement, Celcom and Altel shall pool their respective 2x10MHz bandwidth of the LTE 2600MHz spectrum awarded by the MCMC into a common pooled spectrum for the exclusive use of both the parties for the establishment, deployment, building, construction, operation and maintenance of a wireless business running on or using the LTE technologies.”

It added that Altel, which had been awarded 2x20MHz of the LTE 2600MHz spectrum band by the MCMC, would consider a request by Celcom for the use of the remaining 2x10MHz spectrum band from Altel.

On top of that, Altel would appoint Celcom as the exclusive infrastructure and wholesale provider of MVNO services to enable Altel to provide domestic roaming services and radio access network sharing, subject to further negotiations.

The telco player said both parties aimed to maximise the usage of the allocated spectrum to provide the best broadband speed, which was in line with the Government’s call for telecommunication companies or mobile operators to join forces to accelerate broadband penetration in the country.

An analyst said the announcement was expected, as both parties were known to have been in talks on collaborating.

“It makes sense for them to share the bandwidth because their blocks are next to each others in the spectrum, and it would be more cost-efficient for them to roll out 4G services,” he said.

While he anticipated the partnership to benefit both companies, his estimations for Axiata remained, as the tie-up had been factored in.

“With this (collaboration), they would have the biggest bandwidth, and as the collaboration is exclusive, DiGi (Telecommunications Sdn Bhd) might be dropped from a possible partnership with either one of them,” he added.

Previously, Maxis Bhd had agreed to share the spectrum with REDtone International Bhd to roll out 4G LTE services from 2013 onwards. Maxis and REDtone had been awarded bandwidths of 2X10MHz each.

The other players that had been allocated the LTE bandwidth are DiGi, Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd, U Mobile Sdn Bhd and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd.

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Business , Axiata Group , Celcom , Puncak Semangat

   

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