Alcatel today announced that it will invest more than $60 million over the next five years to develop Malaysia as the hub of its third generation (3G) mobile business in Southeast Asia.
Alcatel Executive Vice-President and Asia Pacific President, Ron Spithill said the new investment would be primarily to provide support and expertise in the 3G/mobile business area, and the development of new mobile applications, particularly for 3G communications, with local partners in Malaysia.
‘With Malaysia’s mobile penetration rate projected to reach 60 per cent within the coming few years from the current 38 per cent, the country is set to be one of the most important markets for Alcatel in Southeast Asia,’ said Spithill. ‘Furthermore, Malaysia is among the first countries in the region to have issued licences for 3G mobile services.’
Alcatel began investing in its mobile business hub in Malaysia last September, when the company set up a 3G Reality Centre for the Southeast Asian region.
The 3G Reality Centre in Kuala Lumpur is Alcatel’s first comprehensive end-to-end environment for the development and testing of advanced mobile applications and data services in the fields of GPRS/EDGE and 3G/UMTS in Southeast Asia.
An integral element of the 3G Reality Centre is the partnership program with local content and applications developers, as part of an effort to help facilitate the growth of the 3G mobile data business in Malaysia. The company is currently working with more than 10 key local content and application development companies under the Alcatel Partnership Program.