The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) recently published a document regarding the government’s plan for the 700MHz radio band. This particular frequency is currently occupied by terrestrial analogue TV broadcast, which will be deactivated in 2018 as Malaysia fully embraces digital TV broadcast through myFreeview.
In the document, it is quite clear that the government wants the 700MHz frequency band to be used for mobile broadband. Potential owners of these new bands are expected to implement LTE technology or beyond to the service with a minimum speed of 30Mbps by 2020 as targeted by the 11th Malaysia Plan.
At the same time, the government also hopes that this band will be able to help achieve its target of having population coverage for mobile broadband at 95% and 98% by 2020 and 2023 respectively. That being said, potential owners of these bands – which will have 15 years of ownership – are expected to start delivering their mobile broadband service by the end of 2019.
Not to forget, they also must ensure that the price for the mobile broadband service that they will offer through the new frequency bands will be more affordable that existing packages. This is going to be interesting since the frequency band will not come cheap; we will discuss this in a separate article.
With a total of eight blocks up for grabs, the 700MHz frequency band will be open for application starting 31 October 2017 up till 2 January 2018. All in all, we are eager to learn not only how all the applicants will strategise to obtain these blocks, but also to see if there are anyone else other than the usual big telcos that would submit their applications as well.