Monday, November 9, 2009

The History Of Celcom

Who love them? Pretty sure one of the best communication services in Malaysia.

Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad is the oldest mobile telecommunications company in Malaysia. Celcom is one of a member of the Axiata group of companies. Being one of the very few companies in Malaysia to originally obtain a cellular phone license, it successfully introduced mobile telephony in Malaysia through its ART-900 ( Automatic Radio Telephone ) service, using first generation ( analogue ) ETACS ( Extended Total Access Communication System ) specifications of the United Kingdom, a derivative of the US-AMPS ( Advanced Mobile Phone System ) technology. The ETACS ART-900 was started using the prefix "010". Celcom now uses the dialling prefix identifier of "013" and "019" and offer digital GSM (Groupe Speciale Mobile), an originally European standard, now largely a world standard for mobile communications. The original frequency band for GSM is 900 MHz, and was soon extended to 1800 MHz to cater for a much wider bandwidth requirements.

Through the Mobile Numbering Portability by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, CELCOM also provides Virtual Mobile Operator services through XOX and TuneTalk in the 010 Prefix alongside with the 014 headers as allocated. Celcom also provides rural communications services using Microwave Technology in the means of CDMA (leased to TM) and Satellite Phone.

Services and coverage

Celcom claims to have the widest and most extensive coverage nationwide, compared to other cellular services in Malaysia. Celcom claims its dual-band GSM (900/1800 MHz) coverage has reached over 97% of Malaysia's populated area in 2006, and 100% through satellite coverage. As of 2006 Celcom is offering both 2.5G and 3G services on its postpaid and Xpax prepaid brands. Current (published) customer base stood at 7.8 million, with blended ARPU(Average Revenue per User) stood at RM65. Celcom claimed a 95% nationwide mobile service coverage with 3G availability in most of Klang Valley, Johor Bahru, Melaka, Kulim and Penang.

In 2009, the 3G coverage covers most major towns where there is a telephone exchange and either HSDPA or EDGE services within 15 mile radius ( GSM UMTS maximum allowed range ) with GPRS as basic data coverage.


Celcom started its operation as STM Cellular Communications in 1988 with Fleet Group and Telekom Malaysia as shareholders. Subsequently Telekom Malaysia sold its 51% shareholding to the TRI group which was controlled by Tajuddin Ramli. Fleet Group's share meanwhile was transferred to the Time Engineering group which was later sold to TRI. In the initial years Celcom experienced a tremendous growth in subcriber base and newtork coverage under the stewardship of Rosli Man, the President of the company. It was during his tenure that Celcom turned into the leading cellular companies in Malaysia. He left Celcom in 1996.

When the cellular phone market was opened up in 1995, Celcom upgraded to the GSM900 service and quickly grew to become the largest mobile phone company in Malaysia. Competition soon sets in, and several digital mobile telcos compete for market dominance. It was the age of the phenomenal growth of mobile services.

During the Asian financial crisis in 1997, Celcom's owner, Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli suffered a debt crunch, and his shareholding in Celcom was seized by Danaharta, the national asset restructuring company. Failure to resolve his debts resulted in the controlling stake in Celcom being sold to Telekom Malaysia, the government-owned incumbent fixed line operator in 2003. Telekom Malaysia proceeded to merge Celcom with its own mobile-operator subsidiary TMTouch through a reverse takeover of TMTouch.

Celcom was originally listed on the Bursa Malaysia, but after the merger with Telekom Malaysia Berhad, it has since remained private.

Owing to the bad management of its former management Celcom was as found liable by an arbitration panel in Switzerland for infringing an agreement signed with Deutsche Telekom AG’s unit, DeTeAsia in 2002.

The tribunal ruled that Celcom was liable to pay DeTeAsia US$177.2 million in principal plus US$16.2 million in interest as well as other legal and arbitration costs. This works out to a tidy sum of about RM740 million, leaving Telekom to intensify its efforts at recovering monies from Celcom’s previous owners for their misdeed. Only then will TM be able to fully exorcise itself from the haunting of Celcom’s tumultuous past.

Current developments

Celcom is currently doing nation wide promotion using power icons like including international footballers Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Ryan Giggs and Robert Pires and Chinese entertainers JJ Lin and Leehom Wang, as well as local actress Maya Karin.

Celcom is the Malaysian partner of the Vodafone mobile community.

Celcom current CEO, Dato’ Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly, has been with Celcom since 2005. His contract has expired in (2007).

On September 28, 2007, Telekom Malaysia announce a revamp of its mobile communication units which includes Celcom. The revamp plan was to group Celcom under the TM International, which houses other TM regional mobile units and emerge it as a separate business entity. The restructuring exercise should complete by Q1 2008 and the new business unit will be listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange by Q2 2008. [1]

TM International has been renamed as AXIATA as part of a telecom consortium in the south east asia. It's Stock Exchange code is AXIATA.

Celcom 3G

Celcom, as one of three 3G service providers currently operating in Malaysia (The others being Maxis Communications, DiGi Telecommunications)( Note: U Mobile, XOX, TuneTalk, are Virtual Operators), also has the widest 3G & HSDPA coverage in the country of 25 million people. Celcom's 3G service was launched on May 17, 2005, in conjunction with the World Telecommunications Day, and has covered major towns such as Klang Valley, Penang, Melaka, Johor Bahru, Genting Highlands and Kulim Hi-Tech Industrial Park at initial roll out.

Its 3G service continued to expand to various parts of the country in 2006. As of April 1, 2006, Celcom already has 3G network in areas such as Kuching, Seremban, Alor Star, Sungai Petani, Tanjung Malim, Ipoh, Bukit Merah, Taiping, Kota Bharu, Kuantan, Perlis and Kota Kinabalu. The deployment of HSDPA by Celcom allows download speeds of up to 3.6 Mbps (roughly 440KB/s).


What ever critics they got from the broadband services, i think we need to give them a time. Hope they will compete in broadband services

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