South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) and Malaysia-based Green Packet are set to invest MYR201.6 million (USD66.39 million) in Packet One Networks’ (P1’s) operations in Malaysia over the course of the next two years, the Star Online reports. It is understood that with the bulk of the funding expected to go towards the expansion of P1’s WiMAX/Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network, the investment will see Green Packet’s holding in the operator rise to 59.36% from the 57.13% it currently holds. SKT’s stake in the mobile broadband player meanwhile will increase to 25.97% from its current 25.8% holding. Of the total to be invested MYR50.5 million will come from SKT, with the remaining MYR151.1 million invested by Green Packet, and commenting on the development Puan Chan Cheong, managing director and CEO of the latter, said: ‘We signed the investment agreement on Monday. We are making all the necessary preparations for the LTE deployment with the technology and financing in place … So far, P1 has already invested more than MYR1 billion for its capital expenditure and operating expenditure and our coverage is slightly more than 45% of population in peninsular Malaysia now.’
The executive also noted that P1 expects to complete trials of LTE technology before the end of 2011, following which commercial services will be rolled out once the Malaysian telecoms regulator gives the operator the green light. Further, Puan also claimed that P1 remained on target to reach 65% population coverage by the end of 2012, stating that the telco had around 1,100 base stations currently up and running, with that figure expected to rise to 1,700 by end-2011, offering coverage of around 55% of Malaysians.