P1 takes MYR50 million loan for network expansion

18 Jan 2010

Malaysian WiMAX provider Packet One Networks (P1) has reportedly secured a MYR50 million (USD14.72 million) loan from Malaysia Debt Ventures (MDV) which is expected to be invested in the expansion of its wireless broadband network. According to Bernama, P1’s CEO Michael Lai said that the funds raised were part of the operator’s total capital expenditure for 2010, which has been set at MYR200 million, with the executive noting: ‘This funding from MDV will further boost our progress towards becoming the country’s leading wireless broadband provider.’ Mr Lai added that P1 expects to set aside MYR1 billion in CAPEX over the next three years as it looks to expand its WiMAX infrastructure to cover around 65% of the Malaysian population by end-2012, while he said that operator spent MYR400 million in 2009 on network expansion.

P1 is aiming to increase its WiMAX coverage in West Malaysia to 45% by the end of 2010, up from its current 35% coverage level, and it plans to expand its reach to the Sabah and Sarawak regions by the second half of the year. In addition, P1 hopes to double its subscriber base to 200,000 by the end of the year. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as at end-September 2009 P1 had 80,000 subscribers.

Mr Lai has also indicated that P1 may look to list on the Bursa Malaysia in approximately two years, noting that such a time frame would, however, ‘depend on market conditions.’