asiaspace

2.6GHz spectrum for LTE allocated, to take effect in 2013

Another update on 4G LTE in Malaysia. The Star reports that majority of the earlier mentioned 9 companies have been informed via fax that they have been allocated the 2.6GHz spectrum for 4G LTE use. This will only take effect on 1st January 2013 which is a long way to go, and time is something that the players need to roll out commercially. As mentioned earlier, the 9 companies are Maxis, DiGi, Celcom, U Mobile, P1, AMAX, YTL, REDtone and a new comer. Each of them will be getting 20MHz block of the spectrum.

2 years should give the players sufficient head start to evaluate vendors, conduct trials and plan out their coverage expansion. By 2013, we should have more 4G LTE devices in the market. Hopefully better than the Samsung Craft, the first 4G LTE phone.

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9 companies to get 4G LTE in Malaysia

The Star reports that the Malaysian government is expected to release 9 blocks of spectrum for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) to 9 players soon.

The 9 companies are believed to be:

According to the paper’s source, each player will be getting 20MHz block of 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz spectrum which comprise the 70MHz and 120MHz blocks respectively, or a total of 190MHz.

Awarding 4G LTE to 9 companies is a big number and we wonder based on what merit that the spectrum is given. Looking at WiMAX itself, only half of the awarded operators are in commercial service while U Mobile, the newest mobile telco is still struggling to roll out its own 3G coverage nationwide. With the current scenario, we’re baffled to see them getting LTE spectrum when they can’t get their current 3G or WiMAX service covered properly. According to the report, the spectrum will be given to all so that nobody will be deprived from participating in rolling out 4G LTE. Strangely our very own Telekom Malaysia is not on the list.

Although we love competition, 9 seems to be too much for a country like Malaysia. Just recently Maxis & Celcom had started their own 4G LTE testing with its partners while DiGi says that they will focus on 3G first at the time being. We also wonder, what will happen to the WiMAX operators? Will they abandon WiMAX for LTE in future?

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AMAX WiMAX to re-engineer backhaul due to high TM’s charges

We heard that AMAX is to re-engineer their WiMAX backhaul connectivity. This might explain the MIA situation of AMAX as their site is no longer accessible.

According to its CEO, Datuk Abdul Ghani Abdullah, TM’s charges metro-E link is more costlier than microwave backhaul therefore prompting their move to switch to microwave. Due to this exercise, AMAX has informed their customers of AMAX’s WiMAX service downtime. Customers will not be billed from 1st May onwards until the re-engineering process is complete.

The CEO also added that AMAX has filed a complaint to MCMC on TM’s high pricing which appears to be trying to kill off broadband competition in the country. He also added that AMAX currently has 2000 customers in the Klang Valley with 15,000 more registered pending coverage expansion.

On the other end of the table, TM has refuted such claims saying that AMAX had initially agreed with the terms set for the connectivity agreement and it is unfair for them to accuse them in this manner. According to TM, they had deliver their obligation however AMAX has failed to honour their obligation when it comes to payment.

Amidst rumours of AMAX going bust, the CEO also denied that AMAX is in trouble. To date, they have 42 people in their workforce. However he did admit that they had to let go of some staff as they we’re slowing down but assures that they are here to stay.

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Spotted: Mobile TV via DMB from AMAX WiMAX!

We visited the AMAX booth during our PC Fair KL walkabout and saw that they were showcasing something very peculiar.

Some of the promoters were donned with devices that were showing TV content. At first, we thought that it was streaming content but after talking with the promoters, we found out that it was something very, very different.

Asiaspace the owners of AMAX WiMAX is apparently offering on trial basis mobile TV services via DMB or Digital Media Broadcasting – developed in Korea. This is the first time we’re seeing this technology being showcased directly to the Malaysian consumer.

We we’re told by the promoters that the DMB service has all the terrestrial channels like TV1, TV2, TV3, 8TV etc, covered along with some pay-channels included. They however couldn’t give further details on what these pay channels are.

More details and device pictures after the jump.

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AMAX WiMAX new package and promotions

Update: AMAX WiMAX undergoing re-engineering, read about it here.

AMAX WiMAX Offer

AMAX, is one of the 4 WiMAX operators in Malaysia which hasn’t been visible in the market. Apparently they are doing low key promotions as opposed to P1 W1MAX aggresive campaigns almost everywhere.

Not many people know what AMAX is, let alone their packages or coverage areas but recently we were given a tip off by a reader with their promotion.

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