Thursday, February 18, 2010

DiGi to spend RM350m on broadband expansion

BARCELONA: The country's third largest mobile operator DiGi.Com Bhd (6947) will spend at least RM350 million to expand its mobile broadband coverage, said its chief executive officer Johan Dennelind.

The company, which launched its mobile broadband services in April last year, has invested about RM400 million to expand its high-speed wireless Internet network.

So far, 29 per cent of the population have access to its third-generation (3G) and mobile broadband services. It wants to cover more than 60 per cent in five years.

"More than half of the RM700 million capital expenditure this year will go to mobile broadband," Dennelind told Business Times in Barcelona on Tuesday.

In 2009, 500,000 of its customers were actively using 3G services, including small screen users like those on BlackBerry and other smart phones, as well as big screen users, like those who surf the Internet on laptops using the USB (universal serial bus) dongle DiGi provides.
From the 500,000 3G users, about 10 per cent are big screen users. Analysts expect the firm to at least triple its big screen customer base this year. Dennelind, however, did not want to speculate on how big its subscriber base will be by year-end.

"Overall, we are satisfied with our mobile broadband push. In areas we are in, we are getting our fair share of the market or more," he said.

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