MCMC reconfirms intention to allocate 2.6GHz spectrum

12 Dec 2011

More than a year after first announcing plans to hand a number of operators spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has confirmed that nine companies will indeed gain new frequencies. According to the Star Online, however, the blocks of spectrum which will be handed out will be smaller than originally planned.

Newcomer Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd – a company controlled by billionaire Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary – will be given the largest amount of spectrum, with the regulator to hand it a 30MHz, Long Term Evolution-suitable (LTE) block in the 2.6GHz band. Seven of the other eight players meanwhile will be assigned a 20MHz block in the same frequency band, with those being mobile network operators Celcom Axiata, DiGi Telecommunications, Maxis Communications and U Mobile, and WiMAX operators Packet One (P1), REDtone and YTL Communications. Rounding out the companies to benefit from the new allocations, Asiaspace, despite reportedly have ceased offering WiMAX services over a year ago, will be handed a 10MHz block of 2.6GHz spectrum.

According to the report award letters were issued to all of the aforementioned operators back on 2 December, and each has now been given until 15 December to submit their respective business plans for the spectrum’s use. Alongside this submission, all nine companies will be required to raise an irrecoverable bank guarantee of MYR2.5 million (USD792,000) for each 5MHz of spectrum they will be allocated. The spectrum itself meanwhile will not actually be assigned until 1 January 2013.