Malaysian cellco Celcom plans to ‘significantly expand’ coverage of its UMTS network by the end of the first quarter of 2006 in an effort to boost 3G subscriber take-up, according to Marketing Vice President Zalman Aefendy. He told local press on Saturday that the company is trying to achieve ‘as much coverage as possible’ by early next year. To date, Celcom’s 3G coverage extends to the Klang Valley, Penang, Johor Bahru, Genting Highlands, Kulim Hi-Tech and Sungai Petani. The Telekom Malaysia subsidiary was the first in the country to launch commercial 3G services on 17 May and has reported an ‘encouraging response’ from users, but hasn’t released any official take-up figures; Aefendy said that it was too early to announce the number of subscribers. Rival operator Maxis Mobile reported that it signed up 7,000 users of its 3G service in the first six weeks after its launch on 1 July.