Kuala Lumpur: October 8, 2007
KUALA LUMPUR - The Board of YTL e-Solutions Berhad ("YTLE") is pleased to announce that through its 80% owned subsidiary Wimax Capital Management (“WCM”), it has agreed to lead participate in London-based organisation WiSOA to enable the future commercial development of roaming for WiMAX. Under this participation in WISOA, WCM will earn 50% of all revenues derived by WISOA from global roaming, in perpetuity.
YTLE was awarded 2.3 GHz broadband wireless access spectrum (WiMAX) from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission in March this year. As YTLE begins to deploy its network in Malaysia, it recognises that a key component to the success of WiMAX will be roaming; not just for Malaysia but on a global scale.
The WiMAX Spectrum Owners Alliance (WiSOA) is an organisation that represents the interests of WiMAX network operators around the world. WiSOA launched its Global Roaming initiative this year in an effort to push the roaming agenda for WiMAX and provide an immediate solution for WiMAX network operators that will generate incremental revenue from value-added services to subscribers.
Roaming will allow subscribers of a WiMAX service to successfully interconnect with service providers around the world, which underscores the "anywhere, anytime" philosophy of WiMAX. YTLE believes that roaming will provide a significant value-added service for its customers in Malaysia, and enable them to remain connected to wireless broadband services throughout SE Asia and the world.
Similar to roaming in mobile telephony, GSM only became a real success once roaming had been established. The first GSM roaming agreement was made in 1993, and today more than 2 billion inter-network roaming connections are executed each month, which generates some $60 billion in revenue for mobile operators and constitutes 20% of their profits. As the technology and market for WiMAX services matures, YTLE believes this will become a substantial service offering. Indeed, independent estimates from Infonetics suggest it is a segment of the market that could reach as much as $1.6 billion by 2009.
Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh Sock Ping, Executive Chairman and Managing Director of YTLE said of the roaming initiative, "we see this as an opportunity to influence the first steps of what is about to erupt into a major global industry. WiMAX is already the global standard for wireless broadband, and for myself, I look forward to the day very soon when I can use my WiMAX broadband to access the Internet anywhere in the world, the same way I use my GSM phone."
Open wireless roaming
In an effort to ensure a WiMAX subscriber can connect with the best available network, WiSOA plans to enable roaming not just amongst WiMAX networks, but also from WiMAX networks into WiFi, cellular, 2G and 3G networks. This is complex and WiSOA has begun to work with two
of the worlds leading companies involved in roaming to realise this ambitious plan.
In terms of IP roaming, WiSOA engaged the expertise of Trustive, a Dutch company that is a leading global hotspot operator providing WiFi clearing for Telefonica, Vodafone and over 70 other hotspot operators. Trustive is leading the WiSOA effort for developing a set of protocols based on IP sessions using RADIUS for Authentication, Authorisation and Access with many similarities.
Bram Jan Streefland, co-founder and managing director of Trustive, said, “Trustive is very pleased to be involved in helping to deliver a unified WiMAX experience. End users want to have broadband access wherever they are in the world, whether it is via WiFi or WiMAX. As a
global IP clearinghouse, our roaming partners can be more effectively managed, which will ultimately benefit the end user.”
For integrating WiMAX roaming with cellular, 2G and 3G networks, WiSOA went to MACH International, the worlds leading clearing and settlement partner for half of the worlds mobile operators. MACH supports clients worldwide in the fields of international roaming, advanced data clearing, financial clearing and settlement, WLAN roaming and Interconnect.
According to Terence Ledger, chief commercial officer of MACH, "This is an exciting development in the realisation of a simple to use, seamless customer experience for roaming across many technologies, and MACH is proud to be at the forefront in enabling this to happen."
WiSOA has now gathered thirty WiMAX network operators from around the world that will be the first companies to participate in the Global Roaming initiative, and WiSOA, along with MACH and Trustive are also working with some of the leading equipment vendors in the WiMAX ecosystem to ensure compatibility with all existing standards, services and platforms.
WiSOA and its many partners intend that the Global Roaming initiative should be an “open” process, and welcomes the participation of other network operators and industry stakeholders. In the coming weeks, WiSOA and its partners will unveil further details of its Global Roaming initiative and by the end of 2007 thousands of current Wax subscribers will experience for the first time the true power of WiMAX as they connect to the world.
NOTES TO EDITORS
WiSOA (WiMAX Spectrum Owners Alliance) is the first global organisation composed exclusively of owners of WiMAX spectrum. The key objective of WiSOA is to accelerate the acceptance and deployment of interoperable WiMAX networks through a coordinated global effort. WiSOA is focused on the regulation, commercialisation, and deployment of WiMAX in the 2300 ~ 2400 Mhz, 2500 ~ 2690 Mhz and the 3400 ~ 3600 Mhz frequency bands. WiSOA is dedicated to educating and informing its members, industry representatives and government regulators of
the importance of WiMAX spectrum, its use, and the potential for WiMAX to revolutionise broadband and data access. WiSOA acknowledges that the value of the spectrum is essential to ensuring the unrestricted flow of capital to WiMAX operators. Ensuring this can be achieved is an essential objective for WiSOA. For further information, please visit www.wisoa.com and WiSOA’s www.wimaxday.net.
WiSOA members include: Austar, Max Telecom, Nextwave Wireless, Unwired, UK Broadband, Yozan, Irish Broadband, Telecom New Zealand, Woosh Wireless, Nomad, Liberty Global, WiMAX Telecom and Cosmoline.
Trustive is Europes leading wireless hotspot access provider and one of the fastest growing in the world. Through roaming agreements, Trustive is meeting the end-user demand for access to a global network of hotspots by offering a unified service through an easy-to- use user interface, providing the end-user with one single login and invoice. Trustive is targeting both the retail and wholesale markets. Among Trustive wholesale customers are SFR and Vodafone Italy. The
Trustive network currently offers access to over 20,000 hotspots across 60 networks. Created in 2003, Trustive is a privately-held company with headquarters in Amsterdam and R&D offices in Sophia Antipolis, France. http://corporate.trustive.com
Trustive roaming partners include: Vodafone, SFR, Telefonica, Maxis, Proximus, Hub Telecom, Lattelcom, Chunghwa Telecom, KPN.
MACH is the leading global clearing and settlement partner for mobile based transactions. We help telecommunications companies and enterprises across the world to secure and develop existing and new revenue streams. We specialise in outsourced solutions within roaming
clearing and billing, Interconnect and WLAN. In addition, we deliver mobile content services through the independently operating brand End2End as well as EDI under the Progrator brand. Our global client base comprises the leading international telecommunication companies,
including established national operators on five continents and new licensees worldwide. With more than 500 employees and offices in 11 countries throughout the world, we combine global expertise and operations with local knowledge in each of our markets. For further information please visit www.mach.com
MACH roaming customers include: O2, Vodafone, Swisscom Tele2, Softbank, Telenor, maxis, Beeline, MTC, Telstra, Mobilkom, Telefonica, NTT DoCoMo, T-Mobile and Korea Telecom.