Telekom Malaysia™ is reported to have called for tenders from hardware vendors such as Huawei, Ericsson, Samsung and Alcatel-Lucent as it eyes the deployment of LTE technology. According to Malaysia’s Business Times, with the telco having invited submissions from a number of major LTE vendors, evaluation of the submissions, it is claimed, began on Monday, and is expected to continue until mid-September. Meanwhile, commercial 4G services are expected to be rolled out by 12 February 2014, according to pre-request for proposal (RFP) notes cited by the local press source. It is understood that TM is planning to use the 800MHz band for the deployment of LTE, with the telco saying that such frequencies would offer a number of advantages: ‘[The] 800MHz frequency band has a very strong building penetration compared to 2.5MHz. In addition, TM owns the back-haul (fibre optic) and many existing towers,’ an unnamed source was cited as saying. In addition, it has been suggested that TM is aiming to sign up 100,000 pre- and post-paid 4G subscribers combined by the end of 2014, with that figure expected to rise to more than one million by 2017.
Responding to queries regarding its plans, TM did not confirm the suggested 4G timetable, instead simply stating: ‘We are looking at the best technology evolution path in the optimisation plans for our current CDMA (code division multiple access) network and in line with our broadband services delivery strategy for the nation.’