budgets RM100mil for CDMA expansion
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
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Malaysia Bhd has set aside RMl00mil to expand its wireless fixed-line
services using code division multiple access (CDMA) technology this year,
said its TelCo chief operating officer Dr Idris Ibrahim.
the investment, Telekom would be able to offer an additional 70,000
wireless fixed lines, mainly to the rural areas. Last year the company
invested RM180mil and installed 200,000 lines using CDMA technology. About
51,000 customers are currently using these lines. The move to offer
wireless fixed-line services was to help the government narrow the digital
divide in the country, ldris said, pointing out that Telekom was known for
offering telephony services to both urban and rural areas, and in remote
places where no other operator would venture into.
demand for telephony was low, the best option was to offer wireless fixed
lines, as the cost of laying copper or fibre optic lines was high. he
began with the introduction of radio in the local loop (RILL), a wireless
technology, in 1994. In 2000, it upgraded to wireless in the local loop
But since last year it has moved to CDMA technology, which has a path to future upgrade and enhancement. Telekom has 3 dedicated CDMA exchanges, one each in Putrajaya, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
basic CDMA service is able to provide voice telephone, data and
value-added services such as call waiting, caller identification and call
147:Basically, 80% of the CDMA service is deployed in rural areas. It is
also deployed at new development sites for the interim until the fixed
line infrastructure is ready,'' Idris said.
this year new base stations would be installed in areas where there is
high demand. The waiting list for telephony services has been reduced to
60,000 from 90,000 with the introduction of wireless fixed line telephony.
a comment that fixed line telephony globally was saturated, Idris said it
was not the case in Malaysia.
147:Malaysia is rather unique, as there is still demand for fixed line
services in the rural areas although the service is saturated in the urban
line telephony is being replaced by mobile, especially in the urban
centres, where the demand is mainly from the younger people. Cellular
services have also not gone to the rural areas, so there is where we come
in with the wireless fixed line service.'':
he added that Telekom's effort was in no way in collision with
that of the Malaysian Communication & Multimedia Commission, which
had initiated the setting up of a universal service fund, to which all
operators have to contribute a portion of their earnings. The fund will be
used to bridge the digital gap.
147;We are still discussing the current mechanism with the commission.
Nevertheless, we are going ahead with our own expansion. &# 147;Our
effort complements theirs and whenever there is no telephony service it is
Telekom that is called, or blamed, and not any other
operator,',' he said.
if adoption of CDMA was the best option for wireless fixed telephony,
Idris said it was &#I 47;the best and most cost effective. It was much
cheaper than RILL, and the evolution path more
said from CDMA2001x, there can be a path to CDMA2000Ix-evdo, which offers
higher data of 2.3 megabits and CDMA2001 Ix-evdv &# 150, which can
offer 3.6 megabits transmission speed.