Malaysia’s YTL to launch 4G network next month

Malaysian conglomerate YTL said Monday it would launch its 4G mobile Internet network on Nov. 18 and plans to offer Internet television in conjunction with US-based Sezmi Corp.

YTL Communications Sdn. Bhd., a unit of YTL group, has invested $2.5 billion in the fourth-generation wireless mobile and Internet technology that promises faster speeds than 3G technology, YTL said in a statement.

The 4G technology is designed from the start for the transmission of data rather than phone calls. To do that, it borrows aspects of the latest generation of Wi-Fi, the short-range wireless technology.

It offers faster access to data but some analysts said it’s difficult to point to completely new uses for 4G phones — things they can do that 3G phones can’t.

YTL Corp. Managing Director Francis Yeoh said the tie-up with Sezmi will allow the group to provide hybrid television — offering recorded or live local and cable TV stations, on-demand movies and Internet videos — on its 4G platform by late 2011.

This means subscribers to YTL’s network will get broadband, mobile and personalized television all in one, he said. YTL will have the right to deploy the service, touted as a cheap alternative to satellite and cable TV, throughout Asia-Pacific, he said.

Yeoh said investment in hybrid TV was “substantial” and that rates would be competitive but declined to reveal figures or give details about content.

“Malaysia is screaming for more choices of services and technology coverage. With Sezmi, we will not only deliver the best wireless hybrid TV service but also inspire Malaysia to adopt the Internet at a faster rate,” he said.

Sezmi is a four-year-old Silicon Valley company that currently provides Internet television in the U.S.

Associated Press