KUALA LUMPUR – South Korea’s top mobile network operator SK Telecom Tuesday announced a 100 million dollar investment in a Malaysian firm to tap into regional high-speed Internet services.

Ki Haeng Cho (C), President of SK Telecommunication, signs a memorundum as Michael Lai (R), CEO of Packet One Networks Malaysia, looks on during a signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. SK Telecom Tuesday announced a 100 million dollar investment in a Malaysian firm to tap into regional high-speed Internet services. (AFP/Saeed Khan)

The move gives SK Telecom a 25.8 percent stake in Packet One Networks, Malaysia’s leading provider of high-speed wireless broadband with about 175,000 subscribers.

SK Telecom, which controls more than half of South Korea’s mobile market, is hoping to use the investment as a springboard for expansion in Southeast Asia.

Under the deal, the two companies will share their technology and network expertise as well as customer products portfolio.

“The alliance will allow SK Telecom to rise as a global telecommunications company based on its cutting edge technology and innovative marketing tools,” SK Telecom’s global management services head Ki Haeng Cho said at the signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

“(The investment) will position SK Telecom to participate in other WiMAX and wireless broadband opportunities across Southeast Asia and other emerging markets,” a joint statement from the firms said.

Packet One, Malaysia’s first WiMAX provider, is looking to expand its high-speed Internet services with the investment and increase its coverage from 38 percent to 65 percent of the country’s 28 million population by 2012.

WiMAX, which stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is similar to the more familiar wifi that most laptops are equipped with.

WiMAX has a higher capacity and operates across much longer distances, allowing for higher quality voice, video and Internet services. — AFP