Malaysia govt should not push telco mergers, says analyst

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–The Malaysian government should back-away from attempting to merge the six telcos in the country into three as it would do more harm than good to the industry, says a Gartner Group analyst.

“Consolidation is necessary. But when the government intervenes, it risks delaying an inevitable process. Government intervention tends to strengthen the hand of the weakest and undermine the fittest. That will not strengthen the sector,” said Bertrand Bidaud, director of telecommunications for the Asia-Pacific Gartner Group.

Bidaud said intervention by governments elsewhere has not been positive citing France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and several Asian mergers that remained “superficial”.

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Malaysia’s TMnet delivers ultimatum to abusers

By Julian Matthews

Internet Service Provider TMnet has issued a stern warning to its users for attacking foreign chat networks and for other abuses such as credit card fraud, hacking and virus propagation.

“If you are the perpetrator of any such activities, consider this your first and final warning. There will be no further warnings before action is taken, the least of which is the suspension of your account. If you think you cannot be traced, think again,” said the statement issued yesterday to its 350,000 subscribers by the customer support manager (Internet services) for the ISP.

TMnet said it was forced to take “drastic measures” against perpetrators of the abuse to protect “innocent” users.

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Malaysia’s TMnet users permanently banned

By Julian Matthews

The Undernet.org has permanently banned users of local Internet Service Provider TMnet from accessing the popular global chat network.

The ban came into effect Sunday after 20 administrators unanimously voted for the ban with three abstentions and none against.

“Due to the lack of communication or cooperation from TMnet, the administration of the Undernet regretfully will no longer allow connection to or use of the Undernet from its customers,” said Undernet in a statement posted Sunday.

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Undernet rejects Malaysia’s TMnet offer to host local chat server

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Internet relay chat (IRC) network administrators Undernet.org have rejected an offer by local Internet service provider TMnet to host a local server for the global IRC network as a means to end abuse by its users.

The rejection was the seventh application by the ISP which failed to meet the network’s minimum requirements.

“TMnet has neither the bandwidth nor the machine resources. We also denied them previously for incomplete applications and insufficient information, in addition to the issue of high volume of abuse by its customers,” said Angel Moss, a North American Abuse Coordinator for the Undernet.org.

TMnet made the offer this week after its customers were globally banned on Aug 15 along with users of Jaring, the other local ISP, for continual abuse of the Undernet’s network and resources.

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Malaysia domain the ‘most abusive’ in the world for chatting

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Undernet.org administrators were forced to ban Malaysian users from its popular chat network because it is “the most abusive domain” in the world.

“Malaysian IP space and resources are being used to launch Denial of Service attacks against Undernet.org servers and services constantly. The last attack against one of our routing servers was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said a North American Abuse Coordinator of Undernet.org known as “Angel Moss”.

Moss said the Undernet.org was “not singling out Malaysia” which was banned from the global network on Monday.
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Foreign Equity Cap For Telcos Raised to 61%

By Julian Matthews

The government is allowing foreign companies to buy majority stakes in local telecommunication service companies in a move to prop up their troubled ventures.

Energy, Telecommunications and Posts Minister Leo Moggie said the government has raised the foreign equity cap of local telcos to 61%.

This is the second hike in three months, indicating the dire straits local telcos are in from the protracted regional financial crisis.

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Telekom Malaysia Signs Deal for MSC Infrastructure

By Julian Matthews

May 29, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Telekom Malaysia Bhd. signed a one billion ringgit (US$263 million) deal to provide state-of-the-art telecommunication infrastructure facilities for Putrajaya, the new federal government administrative center located within Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).

The telecom infrastructure will include fiber optic cables capable of supporting high bandwidth data transfers necessary for the MSC’s objective of becoming a global multimedia hub.

The MSC is a 750 square kilometer zone south of capital city Kuala Lumpur designated for the development and delivery of various multimedia products and services such as electronic government, smart card applications, telemedicine, distance learning, remote manufacturing and electronic commerce. It has been endorsed and supported by more than 136 companies, including Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Motorola Inc.

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Foreigners OK’d to Take 61 Pct. Stake in M’sian Telcos

By Julian Matthews

May 11, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — The Malaysian government is allowing foreign companies to own majority stakes in local telecommunication companies.

The foreign equity ceiling was raised to 61 percent from 49 percent in an effort to pump in much-needed funding for ailing local telcos.

Energy, Telecommunications and Posts Minister Leo Moggie said the new policy will only be valid for five years, after which foreign companies will have to revert their equity back to 49 percent.

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Equal Access Trial for Telcos Set for July

By Julian Matthews

April 17, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Malaysia will roll out a trial run for equal access to all fixed-line telecommunication services beginning in July.

Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts Leo Moggie said the government will test the new policy on selected exchanges to allow consumers and operators to familiarize themselves with its operational and billing aspects.

Equal access will allow subscribers to choose from one of five telecommunication service providers when making calls, regardless of the network he or she is on. Currently, such calls are mainly routed by the dominant fixed-line operator Telekom Malaysia Bhd.

The four competing telcos are Technology Resources Industries Bhd., Binariang Bhd., Time Telecommunications Sdn., Bhd. and Mutiara Swisscom Bhd.

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Telekom Launches Company Buys in S Africa, Thailand

By Julian Matthews

The country’s largest telecommunications carrier, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, is expanding its reach with a series of investments in foreign ventures.

Telekom Malaysia’s biggest and most prominent foreign venture this year was an agreement to buy a stake in Telkom South Africa Ltd.

The deal was sealed in Cape Town in May with US-based partner SBC Communications Inc, for a joint 30% stake in the South African telecommunication firm worth US$1.261 billion.

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