Malaysia consults on 700MHz mobile broadband plan - Mobile World Live

Malaysia consults on 700MHz mobile broadband plan

13 OCT 2017

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) requested industry comment on a plan to allocate eight 2x5MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum for mobile broadband coverage.

Companies will be invited to submit bids for the spectrum after the consultation period closes on 31 October, with the deadline for tender applications on 2 January. The spectrum is currently used for analogue broadcasting services in the country and will be made available for mobile broadband service from 1 January 2019.

MCMC set a fixed price of MYR215.5 million ($50.9 million) for each 2x5MHz block, based on a lump sum payment. Companies can also opt to pay over five, ten or 15 years but for a higher licence fee (for example MYR417 million for a 15-year period). In addition, companies are required to pay an annual fee of MYR18.5 million for the 15-year concession.

The regulator said the 700MHz tender will be carried out by a beauty contest process. It set a spectrum limit of 2x20MHz, or four blocks, per applicant. Bidders need to submit a preliminary five-year business plan.

MCMC directly assigned the 900MHz and 1.8GHz bands in 2016 to Celcom and Maxis, and the two smaller players Digi and MVNO U-Mobile. Fitch Ratings said in February 2016, when the regulator announced the plans, the reallocation would intensify competition as the country’s two smallest operators would gain access to more capex-efficient spectrum, which would help them to challenge the two market leaders – Celcom and Maxis.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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