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Malaysia awards two 3G licenses

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia-The Malaysian government awarded two of three available third-generation (3G) licenses this week, with incumbent operators Maxis Communications and Telekom Malaysia walking away with the US$13.2 million awards.

Three other bidders, Time Dotcom, Technology Resources Industries and newcomer E-Touch, failed to meet requirements for licenses. The Malaysia mobile market, which currently has five operators, is expected to consolidate on the 3G awards. In fact, Telekom Malaysia is in the process of merging with TRI.

Mobile operator DiGi.com, which is partially owned by Norway’s Telenor, did not bid for a 3G license.

The licenses were awarded through a “beauty contest.” Each winner must now submit detailed business plans within six months, the government said. The government did not say when or if the third license would be awarded.

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