Green Packet leads WiMAX deployment in the country

Posted on 11 Jun 2010

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KUCHING: The telecommunication industry sees another boost in its services with the greater expansion of the wireless inter-operability for microwave access (WiMAX) service, pioneered by Green Packet Bhd (Green Packet).

The group was targeting 180,000 new net additions or number of subscribers for 2010 to close the year with 320,000 users. This was supported by its aggressive coverage expansion on the back of Malaysia’s sub-par household broadband penetration rate of 33.2 per cent.

“The broadband market is big enough for a few operators to co-exist,” commented a representative from OSK Research Sdn Bhd (OSK Research) when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday.

“There is little concern on the entry of new players, at least in the medium-term. At the end of the day, it’s about having pervasive coverage and good quality service. Operators that are financially strong will be longer-term winners. A head start in the market is obviously an advantage as well,” he affirmed.

OSK Research revealed that Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (P1), a WiMAX licensed company subsidiary under Green Packet, was the largest wireless broadband provider in the world on the 2.3 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum with over 170, 000 subscribers.

In the country, WiMAX was adopted by Green Packet, Redtone International Bhd (Redtone), YTL Corporation Bhd (YTL) and Asiaspace Sdn Bhd (Asiaspace), back in 2007.  In a related research report, OSK Research highlighted that out of the four companies mentioned above, only YTL had yet to roll out its service while both Redtone and Asiaspace offered pockets of coverage in East Malaysia and the peninsula respectively due to the limited sites commissioned to date.

It added that the possible delay of YTL’s WiMAX service launch and doubts over the sustainability of Asiaspace’s business following a two-week network shutdown would work in P1’s favour as it currently possessed the widest coverage and was the most visible brand.

In a recent WiMAX forum, it was revealed that 588 WiMAX deployments were made in 148 countries as at the end of April this year, with the bulk of the deployments in the Africa, Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) as well as Asia Pacific regions, which accounted for 60 per cent of total deployments to date.

Moving forward, OSK Research estimated P1 to roll out its voice service next year after extending its coverage nationwide.

“The future of WiMAX in the telecommunications industry looks promising as broadband will no longer be a privilege but a necessity going forward,especially with more players gearing up towards the direction,” noted the research analyst.

“The technologies used to deliver broadband will be very relevant in as they enrich the eco-system to provide connectivity. For example, there should be mass availability of equipment and devices to support the adoption of WiMAX and another upcoming 4G standard called long term evolution (LTE).”

OSK Research expected to see WiMAX players coexisting with mobile operators in driving broadband adoption in the near future as a sizeable 3.5 million households were still without basic broadband services.

Also, the research firm expected more handsets to be unveiled by manufacturers over the next six months as operators strive for greater network inter-operability and the adoption of WiMAX as a new standard for Internet protocol (IP) voice communications.

source from: The Borneo Post