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MCMC refutes claims that it issued 700MHz spectrum to YTL

29 Nov 2010

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is looking to quell concerns over the rumoured issuing of spectrum in the 700MHz band to YTL Communications, the Malaysian Insider reports. The regulator made an official statement saying that it has not assigned YTL a licence to offer pay-TV services over the 700MHz band as had recently been claimed, with the MCMC clarifying that the operating licence it had issued to the operator on 30 August 2010 was a content applications service provider (CASP) individual licence covering the provision of subscription-based IPTV services using the 2.3GHz band. ‘[The] MCMC would like to reiterate that no spectrum assignment has been issued to YTL in the 700MHz spectrum band for pay-TV broadcasting, hence the reports and commentaries on a spectrum issuance are inaccurate,’ the regulator said in a statement. The move by the regulator came after a number of media reports over the last month had suggested that YTL would receive 700MHz spectrum to operate its hybrid TV service by the end of next year.

The MCMC has also clarified that it is examining a detailed business plan presented by YTL for the rollout of digital pay-TV services, and not 4G mobile services as had been claimed. The regulator noted that under the country’s National Spectrum Plan the 700MHz band has been set aside for broadcasting service and not for Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G mobile services as had been speculated in a number of media articles, adding: ‘The ownership of all spectrum bands remains at all times with the government of Malaysia.’

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