2.6GHz spectrum: Transparency is the way to go

Providing broadband to Malaysian homes and businesses is the delivering the demand of connectivity, especially for Malaysians to be part of the global citizenship in the information superhighway. The development of technology and content made it imperative for Malaysian  not to be exlcuded from connectivity. The National Broadband Initiative (NBI) is the way to go.

Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture (KPPK) via Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was given the task to drive and develop the franework of controls to the access to connectivity. A letter was issued to nine companies on 17 September 2010; Celcom, Maxis, DiGi, U-Mobile, P1, Redtone, YTL, Airspace and Puncak Semangat. Unofficially, they were informed about the allocation to 3G and WiMAX operators for achieving the 50% broadband household penetration rate. The 2.6GHz spectrum would be made available for allocation from 1 January 2013 through apparatus assignment.

The requirement is basic. Operators are required to submit detailed business plan. It was said that no time line was specified. The spectrum available is between 2500MHz and 2690MHz, which should be divided into 9 operators. Each allocated the 20MHz between the bands. The remaining 10MHz will serve as a spare buffer band.

The Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology required from the operators in order to deliver the 100Mbps (Current 3G HSDPA = 7Mps). It is understood that all operators have plans how to roll-out LTE to provide better broadband network to support high end applications and services, which is very much the expectation of the market and consumers.

Never the less, the challenges raised are pertinent and very real. For starters, the allocation of 20 MHz is insufficient to effectively roll-out the LTE. Splitting the spectrum and allocating the 20MHz will not maximise the throughput benefit of the spectrum. In fact it is technically unproductive to do so.

Heavy equipments are required to deliver the 2.6GHz as the capacity loading would be termendous. The concern is that how are the WiMAX operators able to deliver the 2.6GHz when they currently struggling to even deliver 2.3GHz commitments. The operators have the resources and capabilities to maintain the different networks (GSM and 3G). The other question arises from this exercise is that how would the same operators serve the WiMAX network with existing capacity.

The customer base is also a major concern. The current 3G operators have a huge subscriber base. It is technologically and commercially natural for these operators and telecommunication providers progress towards meeting the higher demands and expectation of the subscribers and new consumer markets. It is expected to be sustainably viable too. Would the operators able to sustain the business in long term with the current subscriber base.

3G operators have concerns on the the Government would think and have the propensity to consolidate all the operators with WiMAX or other smaller broadband operators in order to acquire more spectrum. The consolidation, especially with Government’s instruction should be avoided as proven in the past, it would just benefit some parties and has a larger impact and loss to the industry.

To develop the 2.6GHz spectrum, it was said that MCMC is providing a RM 1 billion fund from the Universal Service Provider (USP) fund.

This is taken from the MCMC presentation dated 17 March 2003″


•USP Fund

Contribution  – By licensee of 6% of its weighted net revenue.  Only by those whose net revenue > RM500,000.

Commission shall maintain proper accounts of the USP Fund – Annual report and statement of accounts

However only three out of the nine companies bidding would benefit from this grant. The three is not ascertained yet at this time.

One damning rumour that looms with this is that a close family member of the minister-in-charge Dato’ Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim has been associated in lobbying for part of the grant for one of the operators bidding. This cannot be true as Dr Rais is a respected senior member of the  Cabinet and has been around in the Federal Government since third Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn’s time (with the exception of the interegnum period between 1987 – 1999). If this rumour is true, then it would be a scandal which Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is gravely unable to afford.

The right way to do this is transparency. The industry is very small. Any movements would be known. More over if it involves grants which are RM hundreds of millions.

Favourtism would simply be detected almost automatically. How the grants would be awarded would create negative perception. It is imperative that the delivery of the 2.6GHz spectrum is done properly to the parties who are deserving and able to follow it through. The challenges arisen from technological, commercial and growth demands for the 100Mbps service will determine how the high value economy that PM Najib’s New Economic Model grand plan is able to be realised. At this point, confidence is very important. Communications is one of the National Key Economic Area focused by the Federal Government.

After all, transparency is what PM Najib promised when he assumed the premiership from PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on 28 March 2009. Corruption is one of the National Key Result Area which PM Najib’s leadership has to follow through.





Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 08:34  Comments (33)  

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33 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. selling spectrum = selling air..wondering, but, YTL?

  2. […] Wimax and 3G. Why three companies? Dunno. Which three? Dunno, but Big Dog heard some disturbing rumor about a Minister’s son being part of the nine, or three. There’s also talk about a […]

  3. 1Malaysia did it again. There a far more cheaper and pragmatc ways of achieving the challenges of this globalized world. Why do Malaysians choose the tough way around?

  4. bro. ini skandal berat. rais jual negara bro. hari itu RM1 bilion dia ambil utk supply 1 juta komputer kononnya pada org miskin. 1 juta kumputer kalau untungnya RM10 setiap satu, dah RM10 juta bro

    ni wimax pula. RM 1 bilion lagi. ini merompak bro. kenapa tak siasat. lebih baik undi opposition bro kalau macam kita run kerajaan bro

    • aku nak rais berambus.. tapi no for pakatan jadah

      • betoi tu

  5. Kalau ya pun siasat dulu sebelum melatah bro…

  6. tuan

    kesian betul tengok PM. Jual tanah sana, jual tanah sini nak selamatkan negara.

    Tiba2 rais yatim bagi spectrum free kat syarikat2.

    ada apa2 ke menteri boleh bagi free?

    katanya spektrum yang diberikan pada syarikat2 ini bernilai berbillion RM. Kat singapora, kerajaan singapura jual spektrum berbillion untuk negara.

    di malaysia, menteri bagi free saja. macam ada udang sebalik batu.

    kalau jual spektrum ni dengan harga RM100 juta kat 9 syarikat ini, kerajaan dapat RM900 juta.

    Tak payah PM susah2 jual tanah RRI & TUDM sg besi nak tolong negara.

    pelik tengok menteri penerangan ini. Jabatan penerangan entah buat apa kita pun tak tahu. RTM tak ada orang tengok langsung

    tup2 menteri penerangan jual spektrum. Pas tu pulak buat skim 1 juta komputer.

    wow.. senang betul buat duit kat kementerian penerangan, ya.

    kaya2 belaka lah org2 kat kementerian penerangan.

    Tengok2 lah sikit PM. Jgn jadi tunggul saja.

  7. org keje gomen,
    korang telek telek skit laa bos korang buat ape.. nanti ujung tahun korang jugak yg nak merasa bonus.

  8. tunjukkan bukti baru boleh cite, nanti ada yang dapat surat saman kannnnn

  9. bende2 mcm ni klu xde bukti kukuh jgn main tulis je….fakta dan bukti perlu ade br bole hentam org….

  10. bro,
    please check your facts first before making any accusations. the risk is very high bro. knowing dato’ rais yatim, i don’t think he is interested to get involved with all these ‘hanky panky’ things. please do not believe your informer 100 percent, they may be telling you lies just to smear the minister’s image.

    • Thank you.

      Please read the article carefully. It is about rumours lurking around the Telco players that “Someone close to the Minister is lobbying for the grants, on behalf of the bidders”.

      We are not accusing anyone. What we want is the Government free from scandals. It is bad for PM Dato’ Seri Najib’s leadership. We recommend full disclosure and transparency in the process of giving the grants.

      Now which part of that did you not understand?

      BTW (since we are on the subject), if the Minister is so sensitive against rumours, then probably he shouldn’t be there. He sits in a ministry that is so prone of rumours because the industry that his ministry over see is very dynamic, extremely high growth, high volume business and most of all, so much attention paid on it. The job is about communications, information and the technology and strategy to make it better for Malaysia. Not just about ‘culture’ and the glamour attached with that.

      In the first place, he is already close to 70 years old. He is too old for the job and definitely far too old for the Cabinet, especially for the Prime Minister.

      P/S: We can read your IP addresss. Posting comments in THREE DIFFERENT HANDLES won’t expound the fact that you are just one commenter!

      • P/S: We can read your IP address. Posting comments in THREE DIFFERENT HANDLES won’t expound the fact that you are just one commenter!

        AMATEUR! If this is the professional and technical level of Rais’ PR platoon – and if this is a war – he’d better have the white flag sitting nearby. Plus not be too near his men – they seem the type that might pull a grenade’s safety pin… and throw that pin at the other side.

    • knowing dato’ rais yatim, i don’t think he is interested to get involved with all these ‘hanky panky’ things.

      Thank you for the information. I’ll help submit his name to the Vatican and have him beatified as “Saint Yatim”. At the same time, I’ll also lobby Nik Aziz and the Pondok Lubok Tapah in Pasir Mas to have him declared as “Tok Wali Rho-eh Yataem”.

  11. opah tak kisah apa pun yang big dog nak tulis.suke betol opah baca apa yang big dog tulis. tapi kali nik opah pening sikit. banyak betoi perkara yang bermain-main dalam kepala otak opah yang dah beruban nih. opah nak kluarkan balik kaedah 5W 1H opah time opah belaja kat unibersiti dulu. SIAPA lah mata-mata big dog yang bagi cerita ni??? BILA pulak tahu cerita nih?? ( MCMC presentation tahun 2003, ngape la tak dikhabarkan dari dulu lagi?)KENAPA baru skarang Big Dog nak kuarkan?? ngape tak dulu lagi??? ke Big Dog sendiri ada udang sebalik mee, kuarkan cerita ni sekarang….amboi-amboi…nakal Big Dog naaa……jawab soklan opah ni, jgn tak jawab…kalo boleh keluarkan BUKTI-BUKTI yang sahih yang bley wat opah paham ye cu……

    • Kita di BigDogDotCom ni boleh baca IP address semua yang buat posting sini.

      orang biase = azman hussain = terompah opah

      Tulis banyak banyak komen tapi pusing kat situ pun tak produktif pun!

  12. It goes to show that only a handful can really grasp this subject. It is fact that there are rumours going around which can tarnish the Government. However, lets look closely at the subject matter rather than mere accussations. MCMC must justify why they need to take this route as there are still many ways of meeting the national objectives. A case of the tail wagging the dog..

  13. bende2 mcm ni klu xde bukti kukuh jgn main tulis je…fakta dan bukti perlu ade br bole hentam org..lagipun benda ni dibuat melalui tander terbuka… Big dog n Rockey ada personal agenda ke?

  14. anjing besar, 🙂 Cerita menarik, tetapi hanya setakat ‘cerita’ maka tak cukup untuk dijadikan bukti. Sebagai bukti kepada artikel mengenai Rais Yatim, tonton video pembongkaran yg paling tepat ini.

    Selamat menonton 😀

    • maksudnya di sini, you boleh cakap saja tapi tak kemukakan bukti, so useless.

  15. Medai Cyber budak KJ.

    Tak usah nak main isu bukti atau tak ada bukti? Permainan KJ si kitol.

    Nampak sangat nak main discredit blogger. Sudahlah Bro Jinggo, jagalah 6 blog kau tu baik2. Semua hit menurun.

    Kau sekarang survive on ihsan hit dari blog lain.

    KJ pun menunggu nak mampus. Belajar2lah tibar roti canai tepi jalan.

  16. Rais Rais …

    Nak nunjuk handa buek apo?

    Jangan ko ingat takdo orang ingat cerito ekau dulu dan sekarang.

    Tak lamo lagi namo ekau habih. Busuk dan rosak di akhir kerjaya politik ekau. Tak hertan den ekau masuk sg buluh.

    Layak masuk bilik dengan anwar. Baru samo kono ekau yang tangan macam sotong.

    Apo cito ni sampa sungai buluh?

    hehehe … itu yang ekau gelabah nak jago namo sekarang. Ekau nak orang tak cayo bilo bondo ni berlaku.

    Rais, Rais … balasan kau nak datang. Pasal dulu ekau tak honti2 hasad dongki.

  17. […] 2.6GHz spectrum: Transparency is the way to go […]

  18. selling spectrum is a big money business hey

  19. LTE has a theoretical net bit rate capacity of up to 100 Mbit/s in the downlink and 50 Mbit/s in the uplink if a 20 MHz channel is used…so 20MHz is enough for each player to roll out the services since the target is 100Mbit/s…

  20. I think you guys should be careful about repeating rumours, especially when you say “someone close to the Minister is lobbying…” and then name the Minister.

    If I were to hear a rumour and for example publish, “there are rumours going around that Mr X is gay,” Mr X could quite justifiably be offended and come after me either in civil court or criminal court, since my statement would tend to defame Mr. X, since I have become an accessory to the rumour.

    I was a teenager during the May 13th racial riots and stories spread like wildfire by word of mouth despite there being no Internet back then, and the police would take action on people who spread the rumours, if they had proof but it was much more difficult back then since the rumours were spread verbally, unlike with the Internet where there is solid proof in black and white directly linking the statement to the author or the owner of the website or blog hosting it.

    Anyway, as for this alleged “someone close to the Minister…” – Who is he, what is his name, which operator is he allegedly lobbying for and even if he indeed is, is lobbying a crime?

    While I’m no lawyer, if I were, I would ask these questions.

    Well, Rais is a lawyer and he’s playing hardball right now.

    Hopefully, Datuk Rocky will get off lightly or this will all blow over.

    On the difference between allocation of spectrum in Malaysia and Singapore, Malaysia tends to adopt the “beauty contest” approach where bidders are granted licenses or spectrum based upon evaluation of their ability to do the best with it, while with the “highest-bidder” approach, the spectrum tends to go towards the operator which can offer the biggest bucks.

    The “highest bidder” approach was used to allocate 3G licenses to operators in the U.K. and this left them short of cash, while the “beauty contest” approach ideally is more like selecting the most suitable candidates for a job.

    A criticism I have of how spectrum has been allocated in Malaysia is that it’s been allocated to too many players, especially the WiMAX spectrum, and to players which have to roll out their networks from scratch.

    After all, there are only three wireless operators in Singapore, while we will have 9, including Jaring (which was not included in the allocations) and perhaps 10 if Puncak Semangat counts as a mass market player.

    While we have a much larger population and land area, still, most of the broadband subscribers are concentrated in Selangor and some of the larger cities.

    Anyway, if they have to submit detailed business plans, is it certain that all will eventually get a 20MHz block each?

    As you rightly pointed out, the cellular (2G & 3G) operators already have the infrastructure in place, the revenue streams and financial resources to deploy LTE service.

    The benefit such operators have is that they can take their time to deploy their LTE coverage, since their subscribers can fall back on their 3G, EDGE or GPRS coverage when outside their LTE coverage, thus maintaining connectivity, albeit slower, but WiMAX subscribers don’t have that option and they either have LTE coverage or not, unless thay can work out some way to fall back on WiMAX or completely replace WiMAX with TDD-LTE.

    It’s the same right now that WiMAX subscribers can’t fall back on anything when beyond WiMAX coverage, while current 3G subscribers can.

    The WiMAX operators’ situation is analogous to that of the Netscape Navigator web browser, when Microsoft made Internet Explorer 4.0 free of charge in 1997 and within a year, IE4 acquired the major market share, literally turning the tables on Netscape Communications which only had one product to rely on for revenue, while Microsoft could afford to give away IE4 for free since it had Windows and Microsoft Office to rely on.

    Even U Mobile, with a 3G-only license awarded later than the other three, has not yet deployed its 3G network throughout Peninsular Malaysia and it has had to rely on agreements with the other cellular operators to provide their subscribers with nationwide voice coverage as domestic roaming guests on the others’ networks.

    On the other hand, the WiMAX operators, technologically speaking, don’t have that fallback option, even if they wanted to business-wise.

    So, I believe that the WiMAX licenses and 2.3GHz spectrum should have instead been granted to the existing cellular operators, as this would allow them to deploy their WiMAX coverage more gradually, while they continue to earn revenue from their 2G & 3G services. They could also offer a creative blend of services with these three technologies.

    Also, they could more cost-effectively used their existing base stations and backhaul connections with the 2G, 3G and WiMAX antennas and also benefit from the economies of scale of there being a smaller number of players competing for the same number of customers.

    However, as it stands right now, even the biggest of the current three in terms of WiMAX network deployment, still does not cover all parts of the Klang Valley, based upon its coverage map online.

    As for me, no WiMAX operator covers my home which is towards the edge of Section 14, Petaling Jaya, though thankfully all four 3G operators do.

    Hopefully, YTL Communications which promises to provide 65% seamless coverage of populated areas when it launches service with a big bang on 18 November, 2010, will also cover my home but I’m adopting a “wait and see” approach on this.

    Anyway, WiMAX base stations have relatively small coverage radius of around 1.5km, so operators require more of them to cover the same area compared to cellular 2G & 3G base stations, though this could also be the case with 2.6GHz LTE.

    Also, having so many players leads to too much duplication or more correctly multiplication of network resources such as cell sites and backhaul links.

    While some may argue that having that many players provides consumers with plenty of choice and creates much competition, one must also wonder as to what quality of service each of those many players can provide its subscribers and if the complaints on blogs and social networks are anything to go by, nobody is really happy with the quality, especially of broadband services for their price.

    Do you remember when we had lots of stage bus companies – ie. Sri jaya, Toong Fong, Selangor, Foh Hup, etc plying their different allocated routes?

    Was the bus service any better then than it is today despite the apparent user choice?

    Back then if you didn’t like the bus line serving your area, you would have had to move house to be served by another bus line, and right now if I want WiMAX service, I’d have to move house to where there is coverage.

    Anyway, YTL Communications has the advantage in being part of a diversified conglomerate with multiple revenue streams, including from power generation and construction, so they have the financial resources to be the largest, if not the only WiMAX player to eventually be left standing, due to the merciless operation of market forces.

    Remember how we once had seven cellular operators in the 1990s?

    Perhaps government intervention would instead let all four players at least benefit from providing WiMAX service, albeit as part of a consortium and we the consumers would benefit from wither coverage and hopefully better service.

    As for those three operators which would get that RM1 billion in USP fund disbursements, please allow me some speculation.

    On 13 July, 2010, Rais Yatim kicked off the Broadband Trail mobile roadshow at the MCMC headquarters in Cyberjaya and the participants from various operators would tour the country signing people up for broadband with the objective to achieve 50% household penetration by year end.

    Celcom projected it would add 600,000 new subscribers by the end of the year, followed by Maxis (530,000), TM Streamyx (470,000), YTL (400,000), Packet One Networks (160,000), TM Unifi (110,000), DiGi (60,000), other fixed broadband providers (30,000), U-Mobile, Asiaspace and Redtone (10,000 each).

    My guess is then is that either the ACTUAL top three operators by the end of the year will get that RM1 billion or the three with the greatest potential to provide coverage of unserved or under-served areas will.

    However, that’s left to be seen.

  21. […] 2.6GHz spectrum: Transparency is the way to go […]

  22. […] role in such exercises but officers within the Ministry as well. It is the best mechanism for ‘Transparency’, which what our posting on the 8 October was all about and Datuk Rocky linked to his famed Rocky’s Bru […]

  23. […] Attan, whose posting on “Santa Rais” 9 October 2010 which linked this blog’s “2.6GHz ‘Transparency’” posting on Friday 8 October 2010. He also said the day before he wanted to lodge a report with […]

  24. […] say you now?” Big Dog, whose real name is Zakhir Mohamad, had posted the original article 2.6 GHz Spectrum: Transparency the way to go that so riled Rais. The minister in charge of telcos and bloggers lodged a police report against […]

  25. […] The MCMC is still investigating Big Dog and I over postings we did on our blogs here and here following a police report lodged by its Minsiter, Rais Yatim, against me about a month […]

  26. […] The MCMC is still investigating Big Dog and I over postings we did on our blogs here and here following a police report lodged by its Minsiter, Rais Yatim, against me about a month […]

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