WiMAX players fined for failure to reach coverage target

28 Oct 2009

Three of Mayalsia’s WiMAX operators have been hit with fines relating to failures in rolling out their networks on time, the Star Online reports. According to reports, the country’s telecoms watchdog, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), advised REDtone, Asiaspace and Y-Max Networks that they had failed to reach the 25% population coverage stipulated by their concessions by March 2009. The three operators all face differing levels of financial penalty, with Y-Max looking at a MYR1.9 million (USD559,000) penalty, while Asiaspace and REDtone will be required to pay MYR1.7 million and MYR200,000 respectively. All three operators have, however, said that they will appeal against the ruling, with Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, head of the YTL Group, which owns Y-Max, saying: ‘We believe in having an extensive network up and running as we don’t see the point in having incremental coverage. We take this business seriously. We will have 60% coverage (more than the needed 40%) by the next deadline.’ Additionally, unnamed sources at one of the operators claimed that the delays in achieving the coverage target stemmed from a number of issues including long waits for approval to install the base stations. REDtone meanwhile blamed technical issues with its spectrum allocation for its delays.