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KUALA LUMPUR: The Government can revoke the licences of the three companies that have yet to provide the required WiMAX wireless service throughout the country, Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission had been asked to evaluate the three companies — YTL e-Solutions Bhd, Asiaspace Dotcom Sdn Bhd and REDtone International Bhd — that had not lived up to the terms of the licences issued to them, he said.

“They have to prove by the end of the year that they are able to provide wireless services, especially to Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

Rais said all companies responsible for providing wireless services must achieve a 25% broadband penetration by the end of this year, and up to 50% by the end of next year.

On whether their licences would be revoked, he said the Government has the right to do so under the licensing terms, but had to first issue warnings to them.

“We have given them warnings to prove why their licences should not be revoked by the end of the year if they do not fulfil their responsibility as required by their licences,” he said.

Four companies were awarded the 2.3GHz spectrum, allowing them to offer wireless broadband services using WiMAX technology, in 2007: Green Packet Bhd, REDtone, YTL e-Solutions and Asiaspace.

So far only Green Packet subsidiary Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd has rolled out its service extensively, while YTL e-Solutions and Asiaspace have had limited rollouts.

Green Packet, YTL e-Solutions and Asiaspace are licensed to offer WiMAX services in the peninsula, while REDtone’s area of operation is Sabah and Sarawak.

WiMAX, which stands for World Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a digital communications system that allows wireless broadband access to the Internet.

(source: TheStar, July 30 2009)

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