Packet One (P1) Networks revealed that it plans to deploy 4G LTE service via the 850Mhz band. Late last month, Telekom Malaysia(TM) acquired a 57% stake in the WiMAX operator. The 850Mhz band belongs to Telekom Malaysia.
Speaking to MalaysianWireless earlier this month, Puan Chan Cheong or better known as CC Puan, said that P1 will launch its LTE service in the 1st half of next year for big screen devices(personal & desktop computers) followed by small screens(mobile devices). CC Puan is the Chief Executive Officer of P1 and Group Managing Director of Green Packet Berhad.
The Internet service provider(ISP) intends to offer LTE services using the 850Mhz band (FD-LTE) and 2.6Ghz band (TD-LTE). The current P1’s broadband network uses WiMAX technology and is available via the 2.3Ghz band. The company plans to migrate its WiMAX network to LTE within the next 3-5 years. Long Term Evolution or LTE is a high speed mobile network that could offer mobile broadband speeds close to 100Mbps.
TM is currently awaiting approval from the Government for permission to use its 850Mhz spectrum for P1’s LTE deployment. Currently TM is using the 850Mhz for CDMA services. CDMA(Code division multiple access) is a fixed wireless technology used for rural areas and areas where it is not cost-efficient to reach via its fixed network.
The 850Mhz LTE network that P1 plans to offer will be targeted to mobile phone users. Using FDD-LTE technology, the 850Mhz network is supported on more than 50 mobile phones in the global market today including a number of Samsung smartphones such as Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, and others such as LG Nexus 5, HTC One, BlackBerry Q10 and even the iPhone 5S.
Using the 850Mhz spectrum for LTE, it is more cost efficient and easier for P1 to cover the entire city such as KL with very good mobile coverage using fewer base stations. However, the lower band comes with limited bandwidth capacity and speed, it may not satisfy all consumers. According to CC Puan, the 850Mhz, if approved by the Government, would complement its higher capacity 2.6Ghz LTE network in the city.
P1 told MalaysianWireless that it has yet to make a decision on which network vendor will build its LTE network.
Back in 2011, P1 demonstrated its upcoming TD-LTE network with ZTE. It is believed that P1 conducted the LTE trial with ZTE for over a year.
Responding to questions related to its LTE network vendor, CC Puan said, “We have not decided yet, however the board have decided to have multi-vendor strategy.”
“We plan to build a very differentiated LTE network and offer the best value for consumers”, he continued.
Commenting on the partnership with TM, CC Puan said that the discussion started around the end of 2012 and the “Green Packet board decided that this is the way to move forward.”
“TM is looking at expanding to the mobility space. For ourself we feel that we will need a strategic investor to bring P1 to the next platform. SKT wants to continue to expand its presense in South East Asia and share their LTE expertise,” he said adding that Korea is the most advance LTE country in the world and also the 1st country to launch LTE Advance.
CC Puan said that TM will play an active role in the board level as it is confident with the current P1 management. However CC added that TM has the nomination right for both the CEO and the CFO in P1.
Moving forward, CC Puan said that apart from deploying the LTE network, P1 will continue to improve its current WiMAX network quality.