Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Celcom to expand its 3G coverage

Celcom is expected to expand its 3G services coverage to cover the whole country by July 15 this year.

Its 3G service currently covers the major urban areas, such as the capital, Shah Alam, Johor Baru, Ipoh, Alor Star, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. There are 100,000 subscribers to the service now. (It was 45,000 3G subscribers at the end of 2005). Celcom is also targeting to increase its 3G subscribers to 150,000 by year end - an increase of 233%).

To fend off competition, as well as upcoming technology such as WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) - a rival wireless broadband platform - Celcom said it is looking at upgrading its 3G network to HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) standard.

It has already started its HSDPA trials and this is scheduled to end late next month.

HSDPA enables much faster data download speeds (at least 4 times faster) on 3G networks than is possible now. What takes minutes to download now will take only seconds with HSDPA, said Celcom. This will be a boon to corporate users who need to send and receive extensive files on their mobile devices faster.

The only catch is that consumers will need to change their 3G phones and PC datacards to enjoy the benefits of HSDPA technology.

Celcom has selected six Klang Valley sites for its HSDPA trials - Suria KLCC, Mid Valley, Berjaya Times Square, Bangsar and, within Menara Celcom and Menara TM.

Source: TheStar InTech, (20 June 2006, page IT27)

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