interview


CEO, Malaysia’s YTL: “We believe the ecosystem for TD-LTE will soon cross the tipping point”

Wing Lee, CEO of Yes, the brand name of YTL Communications, Malaysia

Wing Lee, CEO of Malaysian communications provider YTL is speaking on the subject of Managed Service and Cloud Platforms on Day Two of the LTE LTE Asia conference taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the state of YTL’s 4G networks and Lee’s view on TD-LTE technology.

What the current situation with regards LTE in terms of spectrum allocation and launch plans?

We have been a good steward of the spectrum allocated to us by the government and have used that to build the largest 4G footprint in Malaysia. With the addition of LTE to our 4G network, that will only serve to give us additional competitive advantage. We are actively working toward that and will be ready to make announcements when the time is right. Granted, having more spectrum allocation will only enable us to do more for the benefit of our customers.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the TD-LTE eco-system?

We like TD spectrum as it is more flexible and efficient compared to FD spectrum and we are particularly pleased that our spectrum holding positions us very well for that. We think TD-LTE is tracking to be an important global standard. With China and India both preparing toward TD-LTE launches, we believe the ecosystem for TD-LTE will soon cross the tipping point.

What will be your strategy with regard to the transition between WiMAX and LTE?

The proven maturity of Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e) has helped us gain broad recognition as the fastest mobile 4G network in Malaysia. In fact, we have been rated by Speedtest.Net as the fastest wireless network in Malaysia since the day we launched 32 months ago. Since we are pure 4G, all customers regardless of location will have the same high performance experience. With an expansive 85 per cent population coverage, we are truly bridging the digital divide in the country. The 4G network we’ve built has proven to be robust and will continue to serve our customers well. Having said that, we realise technology will continue to evolve and have made certain to be future proof by building an all-IP network. We have no plans to retire the Mobile WiMAX network as it is proven to be robust and has delivered favourable economics. At the same time, we are excited to add LTE to our network to allow for an expanded array of device and service possibilities.

The LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

Do you think the all-you-can-eat data pricing is sustainable or will pricing be based on data usage?

We don’t believe in all-you-can-eat pricing as it is economically irrational. Utility-like charging is a key principle that has been guiding our pricing strategy since launch. We correctly anticipated the arrival of a multi-device world and have created a network capable of concurrent access for both data and telephony – and essentially the world’s first share everything network. A single Yes ID – thereby a single price plan – gives our customers access to all sorts of devices and applications concurrently. This liberates our customers to use the right device(s) at the right time without the hassle of subscribing to more and more price plans. We are proud to say that we don’t just offer solid performance, we also deliver consumer surplus.

What do you believe will be the biggest selling point for consumers and business for 4G LTE?

We always believe it is not the access, but what our customers do with the access, that creates value. The world is evolving toward cloud services and always-on connectivity. And we are excited that such global trend will create more demand for our services. We are well positioned to support this new paradigm of connected living – whether it is for work, learning, or play.

Can you talk us through your SIM card free infrastructure and will this carry over to LTE?

Simply put, we are seamless as a result of being SIM-less. Our ID based network is fully in line with the web, which also operates based on user identifies. This puts us in a favourable position to ensure our network is compatible with innovations from the Web. We will surely take this key design concept forward into the LTE world using the Yes ID as the master identity.

What uptake are you seeing from telco managed cloud services for corporate customers?

Telco’s have strong experience running highly scalable and robust infrastructure. In the context of cloud computing, this expertise could be quite interesting. But we are also keenly aware that the web innovates super fast and it is important for us to position our network not to be the ultimate end point but a trusted and value-add linkage to the exciting world of Internet innovations.

What are you most looking forward to with regard to your speaking role at LTE Asia?

We are looking for to an information exchange with fellow practitioners and getting to meet potential partners in order to explore new ideas.


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