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YTL e-Solutions to join WiMAX alliance
Tan Sri (Dr.) Francis Yeoh

The Star: October 9, 2007

PETALING JAYA: Months after securing a WiMAX spectrum, YTL e-Solutions Bhd (YTLE) finally broke its silence yesterday and announced its plan to participate in the WiMAX Spectrum Owners Alliance (WiSOA) to develop roaming for WiMAX. 

If all goes as planned, YTLE – via 80%-owned Wimax Capital Management – will earn “50% of all revenues derived by WiSOA from global roaming in perpetuity”. 

YTLE said in a statement yesterday that it would lead participate in London-based WiSOA to enable the future commercial development of roaming for WiMAX. 

“We see this as an opportunity to influence the first steps of what is about to erupt into a major global industry. WiMAX is already the global standard for wireless broadband,” YTLE executive chairman and managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said in the statement. 

“I look forward to the day very soon when I can use my WiMAX broadband to access the Internet anywhere in the world, the same way I use my GSM phone,” he said. 

The statement added: “As YTLE begins to deploy its network in Malaysia, it recognises that a key component to the success of WiMAX will be roaming, not just for Malaysia but on a global scale.” 

A report said that “roaming is central to the success of WiMAX; this is a market that may reach as much as US$1.6bil by 2009, according to Infonetics.” 

It added: “GSM only became a real success when roaming had taken off and the first GSM roaming agreement was established in 1993. Currently, over two billion connections are made each month worth about US$60bil.” 

WiSOA represents the interests of WiMAX network operators globally. It launched its global roaming initiative this year in an effort to push the roaming agenda for WiMAX and provide an immediate solution for WiMAX network operators that would generate incremental revenue from value-added services to subscribers, the YTLE statement said. 

It said roaming would allow WiMAX service subscribers to interconnect with service providers around the world. 

“YTLE believes that roaming will provide a significant value-added service for its customers in Malaysia and enable them to remain connected to wireless broadband services throughout South-East Asia and the world,” it added. 

To ensure seamless connectivity among networks and standards, WiSOA plans to enable roaming not just among WiMAX networks but also from WiMAX networks into WiFi, mobile networks of 2G and 3G. For this, it is working with two leading companies involved in roaming. 

WiSOA is also working with MACH International, the leading clearing and settlement partner for half the world’s mobile operators. 

WiSOA has gathered 30 WiMAX network operators globally to be the first companies to participate in a global roaming initiative. It also believes that global roaming should be an “open” process and it welcomes the participation of other network operators and industry stakeholders. 

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