Celcom, Maxis collaborate to explore 5G infrastructure sharing

Both companies are already sharing towers, fibre and collaborating to improve connectivity for rural areas

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By TMR File

CELCOM Axiata Bhd and Maxis Bhd have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore a potential partnership for the deployment of the nation’s 5G infrastructure.

Celcom CEO Mohamad Idham Nawawi said the company is working with Maxis to explore a more coordinated 5G deployment in Malaysia.

“5G is the next evolution that will transform how people work, live and play. It will enable a more enhanced consumer experience as well as create new opportunities for consumers, students, governments and businesses alike.

“Our potential collaboration will pave way for the delivery of a world-class 5G network, on top of our existing 4G and 3G/2G networks, to every Malaysian, realising a truly digital Malaysia in the Industrial Revolution 4.0 era,” he said in a joint statement yesterday.

Maxis CEO Gokhan Ogut said both companies are already sha- ring towers, fibre and collaborating to improve connectivity for rural areas and Universal Service Provision projects.

“This helps us save resources and accelerate rollout. With this 5G network sharing, it presents an opportunity for us to deliver more value to our customers,” Ogut said.

“Such industry collaboration is important in supporting Malaysia’s ambition in driving the digital economy.”

The technology is expected to deliver 10 times more speed than the current widespread 4G technology, with speeds going past 1Gbps (gigabits per second), while offering greater user experience and capacity.

The potential collaboration focuses on the joint 5G infrastructure deployment in selected areas, while both companies plan to maintain its own network and enhance its competitiveness in other areas.

Through the potential collaboration, the two companies aim to create overall efficiency for both parties to result in a faster rollout and better 5G experience for consumers and businesses.

The telecommunication companies initiated the journey to 5G over two years ago with assessing the technology and conducting demo trials. The companies have since moved forward to full-fledged 5G live trials as they upgrade their core network to increase agility in responding to technology advancements.

This year alone, both companies have been ramping up 5G live trials with partners, while participating in showcases to generate awareness of the network as well as working with technology partners to accelerate the deployment.

It was reported recently that a technology expert thinks the nation is ready for the deployment of 5G mobile technology and levels of uses, stating that the country should expedite the use case successes to be the frontier in the technology rollout.

The government has introduced a 5G Ecosystem Development grant worth RM50 million under Budget 2020 to encourage technological innovation in the nation.

To date, there are a total of 55 use cases under the demonstration phase, which extends across 32 sites in six states involving nine verticals, for the period between Oct 1 and March 31, 2020.

The sum of the investment of the 5G demonstration projects funded by the industry players is RM116 million.