Packet One delays its WiMAX rollout

24 Jun 2008

WiMAX licensee Packet One Networks has postponed its commercial rollout to sometime in the third quarter. The launch was originally scheduled for this month but chief executive Michael Lai told the press yesterday that his company was extending its user trials to make sure customers will be perfectly happy with its service. Field user trials are being conducted in parts of the Klang Valley, such as Subang, Sentul, Setapak and the Kuala Lumpur City Centre area. The tests cover business and residential areas, as well as areas with a mix of the two kinds of users. ‘As soon as we are happy with the quality of the service, we’ll be ready to go to market,’ Lai said. He declined to say what problems, if any, are being encountered during the user tests. ‘This will be the world’s first large-scale deployment of an 802.16e 2.3GHz WiMAX network,’ he said. Packet One’s network will include 600 base stations by year end, covering 25% of the nation’s population in major cities along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. ‘Next year, we expect to extend the base station network to cover major cities on the east coast of the peninsular. After that, we’ll work with SKMM to extend coverage to Sabah and Sarawak,’ Lai said.