Feature Article

December 27, 2012

Malaysia's Packet One Networks Looks Forward to New LTE Service

Throughout the world, children looked to the night sky and wondered what Christmas would bring for them this year. As it turns out, mobile service providers weren’t too different, especially Malaysia's first 4G service provider, Packet One Networks.

But what Packet One's looking forward to for 2013 isn't just for them; it's also for those using their services in the form of a major LTE expansion.

While 2012 was a big year for Packet One – thanks to big new device launches like the Samsung Galaxy S3, the new Windows Phone devices, and the usual bumper crop of Apples in the form of the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini – it wasn't hard to notice that a lot more networks were rolling out LTE service in one form or another.

Packet One realized fairly easily that it wasn't on the forefront of LTE service provision, with its CEO Michael Lai stating, "For a four-year-old toddler in the broadband business, P1 has established itself as the leading 4G player in both Malaysia and South East Asia. Being appointed as one of the nine Steering Committee Members of GTI representing Malaysia and South East Asia, we look forward to continue playing a major role in contributing to TD-LTE development in the region.”

“2012 has been a significant year for P1 as we surpassed the half a million subscriber base mark; expanded network coverage to East Malaysia starting with the state of Sabah; [and] were awarded the allocation on 20Mhz of 2.6Ghz spectrum to roll out 4G LTE," he said.

What that adds up to is major plans for further development and expansion in the region as a 4G LTE provider. Both time-division (TD) and frequency-division (FD) versions of LTE are on tap to get expansions in the region and beyond. More devices that use 4G connectivity will come online to match the expanded service, with some reports placing the growth of smart mobile devices over 20 percent in 2013 and accounting for 57 percent of the industry's overall growth.

At the same time, Packet One also projects a need for greater cooperation among networks to combine their spectrum effectively and be better able to meet vastly increased demand for data among users. Since spectrum isn't unlimited, getting more networks' spectrums together would help provide the necessary spectrum to open up LTE-Advanced and provide much better speed.

Additionally, the steady rise in mobile apps available – whether cloud-based, M2M or mobile services – is putting increasing demands on both speed and traffic. There's more demand for these apps, but lagging behind is the issue of bandwidth to run them. That's driving increased demand for bandwidth among subscribers, and ignoring subscriber demand is a pretty sure way to get them to go elsewhere.

With all that in mind, Packet One plans to focus on three key points in 2013: the expansion of 4G with the simultaneous rollout of LTE, gathering the support of the local business community, and the expansion of other services like fiber and SIP services to ensure that the best in value is being offered.

Give Packet One due credit: it has a pretty good idea of what its user base wants, and it has a reasonably good idea about how to go about offering it. The company is not planning to just let current levels go as "good enough" and let the users suffer; it wants to give the users what they want as best they're able, and it shows throughout its remarks.

Edited by Braden Becker

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