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YTLe RM2.5bil network to cater for 14 million users
 
We will provide a different mobile experience to consumers -- Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong

The Star, August 5, 2009

By B.K. SIDHU

Services will be available to 60% of populated areas

PETALING JAYA: YTL e-Solutions Bhd (YTLe) is investing RM2.5bil to build a WiMAX-enabled network that will have ample capacity to cater for 14 million users, said director Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong.

“Our business model is not just about connectivity and we are not here to replace fixed Internet. We will also not rush to offer services (just to meet thedeadlines) as we do not believe in offering substandard services.

“We will bring the best in terms of nationwide mobile connectivity, solutions and devices. We also have deep pockets and with the support of our suppliers, we will provide a different mobile experience to consumers,’’ he told StarBiz in an interview yesterday.

As such, Yeoh feels the issue of licences and warnings should not arise since YTLe has not broken any rules in its network build-up.

Last week, the Government warned WiMAX players to roll out services on time.

Yeoh said YTLe’s network roll-out was on track and the July 1 launch date for its service roll-out intact. It has acquired many transmission sites and its nerve centre for its operations at Kuala Lumpur’s Sentul East is nearing completion.

The centre is where it will also house its inter-operability testing for applications. Its operations here will be the test bed for future export of its expertise to other countries.

“When we launch our services next year, they will be available to 60% of populated areas and there will be ample capacity to cover 14 million users. We believe we will have compelling packages for users to ride on our network. Our data speed will also be three to four times faster than 3G speed,’’ Yeoh said.

YTL is working with US-based Clearwire, which is also its technology partner; Cisco, which will build its Internet protocol core network and create solutions; and Samsung for devices. It will ride on Fibrerail’s network for its trunk connectivity and Samsung will provide base stations for its network.

According to Yeoh, the key to a widespread take-up of WiMAX services is devices and there is a lack of WiMAX-enabled devices in the market place.

That is what its partnership with Samsung will look at so that YTLe’s offering will come with WiMAX-enabled devices.

YTLe is also not after those with Internet access but the untapped market that has no access to the Internet. That is about 80% of the population. Currently, the Internet penetration rate in the country is 25% and the Government wants this to reach 50% by end of 2010.

“To test real mobility, we need wider coverage so that we can give customers that experience. So while we may have been rather quiet and some people may say we are a latecomer, when we launch the services, it will be a good surprise,’’ Yeoh said.

 

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