Originally announced by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak under the revised Budget 2016 last week, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has finally shed some light on the upcoming spectrum reallocation that will be done through bidding process. It apparently will be affecting spectrum in the 900MHz and 1,800MHz bands as well as involving four major telcos.
According to the announcement by MCMC’s Chairman, Dato’ Sri Dr Halim Shafie, the selected telcos are Celcom, DiGi, Maxis and U Mobile due to the fact that they have enough capital to expand their services. While the fee for the spectrum has yet been decided, many financial analysts expects that the total fee to be in the range of billions of ringgit following the trend in other parts of the world.
Hence, it is not surprising that there is already financial impact on some of these telcos following the announcement by Prime Minister last week. In a report by The Star, the share prices of Axiata (Celcom), DiGi, and Maxis have fell immediately after the announcement was made. In total, around RM 15.7 billion worth of market capitalization was gone within two days of the announcement according to another report.
Meanwhile, MCMC expects to complete the reallocation by August 2016. Subsequently, MCMC also expects that all four telcos will be operating in their new spectrum blocks by 1 July 2017. All the hype aside, we wonder what is the impact of this spectrum reallocation to consumers in terms of both network performance and financial because in the end, users need to know the quality of the services that they will receive and the price that they have to pay for it.