PETALING JAYA: In a surprise shift, the federal government has yet again issued ministerial orders/direction (MO) for spectrum allocation and tenure extension, a 12 months following its controversial transfer that resulted in an abrupt revocation of spectrum then.
In this new MO, Altel Communications has been awarded a new allocation of 2x5MHz, totaling 10MHz of the 900MHz band for 5 years. This is in addition to the paired (2x20MHz or 40MHz) 2, 600MHz spectrum it presently has.
Even so, the rest of the players did not get any new spectrum this time all-around. They have been only provided a 5-yr tenure extension for the blocks of spectrum they presently have on the 2, 600MHz band.
Altel is also a beneficiary of the 5-calendar year tenure on the 2, 600MHz band and it retains the largest block of 40MHz spectrum on the 2, 600MHz band, though the relaxation of the players only have 20MHz blocks every single.
The other players with 20MHz blocks each and every are Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi.com Bhd, Maxis Bhd, Redtone Engineering & Community Expert services Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd (through webe Digital), U Cellular Sdn Bhd and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd.
The government’s go to change from annually apparatus assignment to the five-calendar year spectrum assignment for all 8 players on the 2, 600MHz block is a welcome indication. It lets players to program forward their community growth and this band is predominantly utilised for 4G network rollouts.
However, the new allocation on the 900MHz has lifted some eyebrows in the marketplace, as a result spurring chat as to what led to such an allocation. As of now, 4 gamers are on the 900MHz and they are Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile.
“We feel the current market may well view this the latest spectrum assignment inconspicuous progress as affirming the previous regressive stance (missing transparency) with no formal statements and/or Bursa announcements by the telcos so considerably, ’’ RHB Investigation stated in a modern notice.
Nevertheless, this sort of bulletins by the detailed companies are frequently created right after they shell out up. For now, the governing administration has not discovered how a lot it will charge for the five-calendar year tenure.
RHB in its note extra that the MOs (this time around) were equivalent to the contentious directives issued in May well 2020.
However, the variation was the absence of the 700MHz spectrum, which is established to be subsequently assigned to Electronic Nasional Bhd (DNB), the business that will construct the 5G network, it explained.
“The hottest development might be interpreted by the industry as back again-pedalling on the previous decision/outcome and regressive (no tender termed), in our check out, ’’ RHB stated.
“On the flip side, we imagine the authorities may possibly have opted to award the spectrum instantly as a center floor, provided that the new 5G spectrum will be assigned to DNB, ’’ RHB added.
On May 31, five MO’s and directions were being posted on the field regulator’s – the Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Fee (MCMC) – web-site with no other announcements manufactured.
The 2, 600MHz band was 1st assigned to the eight in 2012 and the tenures extended quite a few situations to finish 2021.
It is mentioned that the 20MHz block for Altel on the 900MHz band experienced been before allotted for the KL-Singapore superior pace rail. Due to the fact that undertaking has been cancelled, the spectrum is now assigned to Altel.
RHB stated Altel, a mobile virtual community operator or MVNO, has been assigned the major chunk of the 2, 600MHz (2x20MHz) spectrum.
“We take note that Altel is currently sharing the spectrum with Celcom and Digi for 4G, with its slot getting adjacent to the frequencies allocated to its spectrum associates.
“If this arrangement carries on write-up the merger of Celcom and Digi, the merged entity will have entry to the premier chunk of 2, 600MHz (at 2x40MHz) on best of the existing blended 900MHz, 1, 800MHz and 2, 100MHz bands, ’’ it mentioned.
The other MO surrounds the appointment of DNB as the single neutral celebration to undertaken and deploy the 5G community infrastructure nationwide to provide wholesale 5G companies.
“The question is why is the governing administration using the chance of appointing only one particular business to give 5G wholesale expert services when globally the norm, even for the smallest of nations, is to have at minimum two gamers for 5G roll out.
“Why is the government not thinking of a second 5G network to enable for levels of competition at wholesale degree and redundancies that are essential in a digitalised globe, ’’ said an sector pro.