DiGi to Increase Telecom Infrastructure

DiGi, majority controlled by Telenor AG, had called for tenders about two months ago.
The capital spending exercise is part of the company’s plans to boost its connectivity by widening its telecommunications infrastructure loop.
DiGi, which lacks a Malaysian license to sell high-speed mobile services via a so-called third-generation or 3G permit, is seeking alternative ways to offer movies and faster Internet access on cell phones.
This is to avoid falling further behind rivals Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Maxis Communications Bhd, which have started to offer 3G services.
According to Business Times, DiGi officials involved in vetting the tenders said that slightly more than 80 per cent of the infrastructure is for the company’s own use, while the rest are for common sharing towers or stations.
Common sharing towers mean that all three mobile operators will be able to use the facility to house their transmission devices.
The other two mobile operators in the country are market leader Maxis and Celcom (M) Bhd, a unit of Telekom, the country’s dominant fixed-line service provider.
Business Times was told DiGi also plans to fine-tune its payment process to the contractors, but this is still at the planning stage.
Currently, DiGi pays out only 90 per cent to its contractors for completed sites, and the balance 10 per cent is paid out once the local authorities certify them as legal.
As a result of the current payment structure, most of the established contractors are not keen to take up fresh jobs due to cash flow constraints.
Getting approval from local councils is said to be tedious, which can drag on for years. It is estimated that more than a third of the communication towers in place do not have local authorities’ approval.

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