Maxis announced that their network now supports LTE on the iPhone 5, which is a bit strange to me. Initially the MCMC announced that the telcos awarded the LTE frequencies were given band 7 of the spectrum–which wasn’t compatible with the iPhone 5.
However, something must have changed, SoyaCincau recently reported that:
…Back then, LTE in Malaysia was only available on one spectrum, the 2600MHz (band 7) spectrum, which is not compatible with the iPhone 5 and the new iPad. Early on, there were talks about repurposing the existing 1800MHz spectrum currently used for GSM to support LTE and while telcos confirmed that 1800MHz will eventually be used for LTE, both regulators and operators didn’t provide much information on when and how it will happen.
As it turns out, the 1800MHz refarming is happening and Maxis is quick to stake its claim as the first operator in Malaysia to make band 3 LTE available to Malaysians
Based on my limited knowledge on this stuff, and a few conversation with some telco folks, this is actually quite common. The 1800MHz spectrum was given out long ago for non-4G use, and Maxis just quickly revamped their network to allow the iPhone 5 users to hop onto the LTE bandwagon–but in very selected places only. It remains to be seen, just how fast Maxis can roll out to the entire country, or even if they have plans to do this at all.
Digi and Celcom on the other hand seem to be taking their time–with the imminent launch of the next iPhone by the end of the year, and with no indication of which LTE band the next generation phones will support–it’s still a bit in the air at the moment if you ask me.
Also, I guess the MCMC are to busy trying to patrol the internet to worry about the LTE spectrum.