Paving the way to bigger things once they’ve got their widest LTE network coverage news out of the way, Digi is again attempting to run away from the pack. Their latest venture in question is field-testing Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) on their 4G LTE network.
Long Term Evolution
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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The 9 companies are believed to be:
- 4 Mobile telcos – Celcom, DiGi, Maxis & U Mobile
- 4 WiMAX operators – AMAX, P1, REDtone & YTL
- a company believed to be linked to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukary
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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