Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) is exploring opportunities to acquire wireless operators in Vietnam and Laos as part of its expansion plans, said its chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar.
“We have always said we are looking at this region and Indochina (for expansion). It is not going to be easy as it is very competitive as others (telcos) are looking into Vietnam and Laos as well,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters in Putrajaya on March 15 after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Verizon Business to explore the development of a Malaysian-based Internet Protocol (IP) hub.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg quoted Yusof Annuar Yaacob, who oversees TM’s international units, as saying that TM was interested in Vietnam Military Telecom Corp.
|Abdul Wahid (right) exchanging documents with Verizon Business vice president (strategy & finance) John Doherty, witnessed by (from left) US Ambassador to Malaysia Christopher J LaFleur, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Sri Dr Lim Keng Yaik and TM chairman Tan Sri Datuk Md Radzi Mansor at the signing ceremony between TM and Verizon Business at the Putrajaya Convention Centre|
He said TM was also talking to “a few”‘ companies in Laos and planned to expand in India as competition was eroding earnings growth at home.
On the MoU with Verizon, Wahid said TM and Verizon were exploring the establishment of a physical node in Cyberjaya that both parties could jointly operate.
He said TM would invest RM40 million in infrastructure and additional equipment to establish the IP hub, adding that it would provide the impetus for Malaysia to become a regional transit hub for global Internet service providers’ (ISP) routing traffic.
“This partnership will lead to significant cost savings on international bandwidth connectivity for TM and other ISPs as the Internet queries and traffic are contained within the country,” he said.
Wahid said by establishing such a hub, Malaysian and foreign-owned companies located here would have the opportunity to use cutting-edge IP network technology and prepare for future IP communications services.
“Furthermore, Internet users will also experience lower latency for accessing international websites,” he said.
He said the collaboration with Verizon would serve to attract new opportunities for Internet peering by major regional Tier-1 ISPs such as those from Korea, Japan, China and India to Malaysia and establish the country as a leading IP hub.
Wahid also said the availability of Verizon’s network in Malaysia would attract more international content providers to relocate to the country thus spurring the growth of local content development.
He said the partnership would also open avenues for TM and Verizon to explore joint development initiatives to tap into new market opportunities in the 13 countries TM operates.
Minister of Energy, Water and Communications Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik, who witnessed the signing, said the initiative would complement the key objective of the Malaysian Internet Exchange (MyIX).
“MyIX was developed to increase the localisation of domestic Internet traffic and turn Malaysia into a regional hub for Internet peering and networking.
“This will reduce the need for Malaysian service providers to source IP services from neighbouring countries while positioning Malaysia as a regional bandwidth provider, which can cater to requirements from other countries in the region,” he said.-The Edge