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DiGi studying options in case WiMAX bid fails

DIGI.Com Bhd is believed to be studying two options in the event it does not win a WiMAX licence to offer high-speed Internet services, sources close to the company said yesterday.

The company is looking at a short-term plan of partnerships, followed by an acquisition.

Business Times was told that both are centred on working with the Time group of companies, namely Time dotCom Bhd and its parent, Time Engineering Bhd.

Time dotCom operates a nationwide fibre optic network and also sells payphone and broadband services. Previously, there were reports that DiGi would buy Time dotCom from Time Engineering for about RM1.50 a share.

The reports were denied by both DiGi and Time, but speculation is that a deal, starting with a partnership and latter expanded into equity, will take place.

DiGi, 61 per cent held by Norway’s Telenor AG, is one of the bidders for the mobile WiMAX licence.

The Government is due to announce winners soon, but DiGi’s chances, with that of Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Maxis Communications Bhd, have diminished.

This is because the authorities are not keen to give the licence to mobile phone providers, favouring instead content service providers such as REDtone International Bhd, YTLe Solutions Bhd and Green Packet Bhd.

A senior executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that while DiGi is hopeful, it is prepared for the worst. It was inched out of a 3G licence by Time and MiTV Corp Sdn Bhd, when the Government decided to give out a second batch of 3G spectrum rights.-BTimes

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy