The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has launched a public inquiry into the allocation of spectrum bands for mobile broadband services, marking the first time the regulator has sought public feedback on spectrum allocation matters. The consultation will run until 30 August 2019 and will seek views from interested parties on the 700MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands.
The public inquiry document outlines some of the regulator’s preliminary positions relating to the proposed optimum bandwidth for each spectrum band, the award mechanism (tender or direct conversion), timeline for the allocation process and broad principles to determine spectrum fees. According to the MCMC, these preliminary positions are based on a recent study it conducted and are designed to ‘ensure optimised use of spectrum through effective spectrum allocation strategies’.
Specific questions related to each of the bands covered in the consultation have been posed by the watchdog, and include requests for views on: the optimum spectrum block per operator for assignment in both the 700MHz and 2300MHz bands; the proposed allocation plans for the 700MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz bands, particularly with reference to the award mechanism and timeline; and the appropriate range (per MHz) for spectrum allocation fees.
In a press release announcing the start of the consultation, the MCMC noted: ‘Optimising the use of spectrum is important to ensure improved quality of service, wider coverage and better mobile broadband speeds. This is also in line with the aim of achieving the average speeds of 30Mbps in 98% of populated areas by 2023 under the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP).’