DiGi hoping to lay claim to additional 900MHz spectrum

18 Sep 2014

Malaysia’s DiGi Telecommunications is reportedly holding talks with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) regarding the possible acquisition of low-frequency spectrum. According to the Sun Daily, the operator expects a decision from the regulator early next year, though DiGi CEO Lars Norling did note: ‘It’s hard to tell (how long the discussions will take).’ In addition, the executive highlighted the importance of securing new frequencies, saying: ‘We have invested a lot in the network already and we have a plan for the future. Getting the spectrum is important and we need to see how the refarming exercise is going to look like. The low-end spectrum (900MHz) is key for building up the future and we need it for driving mobile internet penetration, especially in the rural areas.’

Currently DiGi’s allocation of 900MHz band spectrum is far lower than its two larger rivals – Celcom and Maxis – with it holding just 4MHz in the aforementioned band, compared to 32MHz for Maxis and 34MHz for Celcom. The MCMC has, however, yet to decide on the approach it will take for spectrum refarming, which possible options said to include spectrum auctions, beauty contests, direct allocations or a combination of such methods.