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Yes to roll out 4G WiMAX in East Malaysia

UPDATE: Yes 4G finally launched in Sabah with 60% coverage.

According to TheStar, YTL Communications is in the process of securing licenses to roll out its Yes 4G services in the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Its CEO Wing K. Lee had mentioned that YTL has received acknowledgement from the Government and they are now requested to submit their business plan.

Currently REDtone is the only WiMAX operator in East Malaysia and they haven’t been expanding much since its launch 3 years ago. About 2 years back, P1 too had showed intention of expanding to East Malaysia but this hasn’t materialise until today. We’re not sure what was holding them up but we believe expanding to Sabah/Sarawak is much more complicated compared to other states in Peninsular Malaysia due to different local/state regulations.

If Yes is able to roll out, this will give Sabah/Sarawak consumers more broadband choice as 3G providers are still struggling to cover all major towns. It would be impressive if Yes can cover the trunk road from Kuching to Miri and from Lawas to Kudat – the tip of Borneo.

For YTL, moving into Sabah/Sarawak is crucial for them to claim nationwide 4G coverage as no WiMAX operator has coverage on both sides of the South China Sea. REDtone too has tried to enter Peninsular Malaysia but so far we haven’t heard anything from them.

In terms of coverage, it was also reported that YTL aims to double up its network sites from 1,200 base stations during launch, to 2,500 by year end. This includes expansion of sites at Johor, Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu.

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