According to The Edge Daily, Malaysian cellco DiGi Telecommunications will set aside up to MYR150 million (USD42.4 million) of its total capital expenditure over the next three years for investment in its HSPA network and services in the Sabah and Penang regions. The plans were unveiled following the official launch of the operator’s 3G broadband services in the two regions. DiGi noted that at launch it had coverage of 44% and 31% of the population in the Kota Kinabalu region and the island of Penang respectively. However, the cellco currently only offers HSPA-based internet services via a datacard option, with Johan Dennelind, CEO of DiGi, noting: ‘While our broadband service is only available on PC and laptops for now, we look forward to start offering 3G voice and data services on mobile phones as soon as we have expanded our 3G coverage in our bid to capture our fair share of the broadband market in Malaysia’.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, DiGi has forecast CAPEX for 2009 to exceed MYR1.1 billion and had earmarked around 30% of that for 3G infrastructure development. Mr Dennelind indicated that the expansion to Sabah and Penang comes following the high level of demand in the Klang Valley, where the operator launched UMTS services two months ago. DiGi aims to offer its mobile broadband services in more than 1,000 zones by the end of 2009, and the cellco will initially focus on deployment in urban areas.