P1 expanding WiMAX to ‘secondary’ cities; REDtone calls for nationwide concession

6 Aug 2009

Malaysian WiMAX provider Packet One Networks (P1) has said it plans to aggressively expand its services to include ‘secondary’ cities across the country, Bernama reports. P1 plans to bring its service to Kluang, Batu Pahat, Muar, Taiping and Sitiawan this year, and the operator said it plans to cover 35% of the population of Western Malaysia by the end of 2009. Commenting on the plans, Michael Lai, P1’s CEO also claimed that the operator was on track to reach its 45% coverage target by end-2010, with 65% coverage expected by 2012.

In a separate but related story, rival WiMAX operator REDtone has reportedly asked the government to consider granting it a nationwide WiMAX licence, having claimed to have met its 25% coverage requirement in the Sabah and Sarawak regions, The Star Online reports. REDtone CEO Zainal Amanshah said: ‘We have written to the government and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) asking for a nationwide licence but have not got any reply from them.’ P1, Asiaspace Dotcom and Y-Max Networks all have nationwide WiMAX concessions, and REDtone maintains that it is unfair that it is not able to expand the coverage of its own service. REDtone also noted that it has signed up 600 WiMAX subscribers, but maintains that with a nationwide customer base of 10,000 for its voice services it is facing increasing demand for the mobile broadband service.