Maxis and REDtone have entered into an infrastructure and spectrum sharing agreement that will enable both players to speed up the deployment of their 4G LTE mobile networks. Together with REDtone, Maxis claims that, once built, its 4G LTE network will be able to deliver the fastest mobile data connectivity not just in Malaysia but in the region with transmission rates up to 150Mbps. Maxis say that the speeds that its next-gen network is capable of delivering will be two times above the theoretical limit of what the other local 4G operators can currently deliver.
Maxis is looking to launch is 4G LTE service “early next year” in parts of the Klang Valley with deployment to other regions “closely thereafter”. REDtone is expected to launch its mobile broadband service sometime in 2013.
“We are looking to set a new benchmark in data service quality,” Chief Executive Officer, Sandip Das
With a capital expenditure investment of RM3.7 billion in the past three years, Maxis say it is the biggest network investor in the country with 81% – or 5,200 sites – of its network now in high speed 3G. Out of those 5,200 3G sites, 3,400 are HSPA+ enabled capable of delivering speeds with a theoretical limit of 42Mbps.
Local operators have been playing the waiting game with LTE network as the money required to build such a network with enough coverage to make it useful to subscribers is immense. But as the demand for mobile data increase beyond the capacity of existing 3G networks, the need to shift to the next generation in mobile connectivity will be hard to ignore. Collaborations such as this is one way to speed things up as operators make more efficient use of the spectrum that is available to them while MCMC finalise its 2.6GHz LTE spectrum allocation to operators.
Will we be seeing LTE phones next year? Yes but we believe when LTE networks come online within the first quarter of 2013 at the earliest, operators will offer data dongles and MiFis first before moving to dual-mode LTE phones and tablets that will still depend on 2G/3G networks for voice, text messaging and back-up data connectivity when LTE coverage is not available.
In any case, 2013 is going to a year to look forward to as 4G comes to Malaysia in a big way. As a result of that you can expect to see cost for broadband connectivity drop as well. We’re definitely looking forward to a next year.