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Opinion: Telco Industry says NO to YTL

Media reports over the past weeks said that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (SKMM) had issued 80MHz of the 700MHz spectrum to YTL, which had a “highly unsuccessful” launch of its long-delayed YES 4G WIMAX service.

While SKMM is saying no assignment had been issued to YTL for them to offer pay TV broadcasting using the 700MHz band as reported, YTL Communications executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong and the Prime Minister himself confirmed that the spectrum apparatus assignment (AA) rights was granted to YTL Communications Sdn Bhd (YTL Comms).

In this case, SKMM as a regulator has no idea about what they are saying or doing. It also appears that the regulator had ignored the rules in the recent apparatus assignment(AA) exercise for the 700MHz.

An apparatus assignment(AA) is different from a spectrum assignment(SA). What is AA?

An apparatus assignment is usually given on a renewable annual basis and confers rights on a company to use the spectrum to operate a network facility like 3G at a specified frequency in approved locations.

This gives SKMM regulatory control to manage and ensure its efficient use and compliance by the companies to the set requirements of the offer. – Guideline for apparatus assignment(AA) can be downloaded here.

Now do we need Jakim or Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate on this matter?

As for YTL, apart from the disappointing launch of the “world class” 4G service, it has now caused the telecommunication industry to get upset with them over the apparatus assignment (AA) rights in the 700Mhz band. YTL plans to use the 700Mhz for digital broadcasting and might deploy it using DVB-T2(Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial) technology.

In the latest report, the PM has directed SKMM to review the 700MHz spectrum apparatus assignment (AA) rights granted to YTL Communications Sdn Bhd by end of January 2011.

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About Kugan

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