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Broadband Prices To Drop By 11 To 57 Per Cent - Shabery Cheek

PUTRAJAYA, April 15 (Bernama) -- Prices for the basic broadband packages are expected to drop by between 11 and 57 per cent in a month or two, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said today.

He said the commitment was given by the telecommunications companies, namely Celcom, DiGi, U Mobile, Maxis, Telekom Malaysia and TIME. Subscribers were expected to enjoy the cost reduction "in a month or two" because the telcos had to streamline their systems while TM needed more time than the other companies to resolve several related processes, he said. "More people in Malaysia will be able to enjoy the broadband facility at lower prices," he told a news conference. Ahmad Shabery said the monthly subscription for the portable packages would probably be RM25 for 1GB and at least 3G High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) for both prepaid and postpaid services. "This reduction is estimated to be 14 per cent lower than the current average price," he said. TM offers the basic broadband package at RM38 per month for 1Mbps up to 1GB of free data usage, which is 57 per cent lower than the current price of RM88 for the basic package. Ahmad Shabery said he did not want the quality of service to be jeopardised following the drop in the broadband prices. "We want them to relook their investments to raise their capability. What's the point of low prices when the service is not good?" he said. The minister said it was hoped that the capital expenditure for infrastructure development, including fiberisation, would be ongoing and in accordance with the benchmark global investment ratio of 16 per cent of the capital expenditure of the telcos. Ahmad Shabery said the broadband cost in the country was among the most competitive in ASEAN except for Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. "We cannot make a comparison with Singapore because it is a small country and does not require submarine cables like in the case of Sabah and Sarawak. "Nevertheless, we want to ensure that we are always in the lead compared to the other countries in the region," he said. -- BERNAMA

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