The Malaysian government is reportedly preparing to hand out nine blocks of spectrum suitable for Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, according to the Star Online. It is believed that four mobile network operators – Celcom Axiata, DiGi, Maxis and U Mobile – and four WiMAX players – Asiaspace, Packet One Networks, REDtone and YTL Communications – will be handed the frequencies, with the final block rumoured to be set aside for a company linked to billionaire Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukary. According to the report, which did not name its sources, each recipient will be given a 20MHz block of spectrum in either the 2.5GHz or 2.6GHz band, with the state having made available 70MHz and 120MHz of frequencies in each band respectively. The process of awarding the new spectrum, and indeed any fees for it, have yet to be made clear. Commenting on the development, the Star’s unnamed source noted: ‘The thinking of the government this time around is not to deprive any player that is serious about rolling out next generation type services of a spectrum which can help them offer rich applications for users. That is why all wireless players get a slice each.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month it was revealed that Celcom had commenced technical trials of LTE services in partnership with vendors Huawei and Ericsson, while back in June 2010 Maxis conducted an LTE trial after collaborating with Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei.