Celcom mulls increasing capex for 5G rollout

The capex depends on various factors such as spectrum and investment aspects, and the rate of the roll out

by ASILA JALIL/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

CELCOM Axiata Bhd is considering a possible quantum of increase in capital expenditure (capex) needed for the rollout of 5G, said CEO Mohamad Idham Nawawi (picture).

He said the matter is being studied as the capex depends on various factors such as spectrum and investment aspects, and the rate of the roll out.

Mohamad Idham said the company has been given guidance on capex to be spent in a year, which is between RM700 million and RM800 million for business operations. However, there may be some adjustments following the development of 5G.

“If you look at the trend, there is an increase in capex if new technology comes up because we need to invest into the new technology.

“The capex will then stabilise after two to three years. We saw this happen with the transformation from 2G to 3G, and then 4G. The capex will stabilise,” he said after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd yesterday.

Celcom has recently enhanced daily operations of the Langkawi Port with 5G Digital Boundary Control.

It enables a digitalised view of the port’s landscape using multiple 360 UHD 4K panoramic live video cameras within the area. The cameras will leverage 5G capabilities of low latency and high data speeds.

Meanwhile, the MoU signed between Celcom and Alliance Bank yesterday aims to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) owners to grow and manage their businesses better, with a combination of connectivity and banking solutions.

One service that will be able to help SMEs in managing their businesses is the Celcom Business Suite for Retail, powered by the Alliance SME Express Financing package that is adapted to the needs of retailers.

It provides businesses with mobile and data connectivity, payment acceptance and a customer engagement platform. It also allows businesses to obtain faster financing from banks without the need for collateral.

Mohamad Idham said the collaboration is going to assist SMEs in digitising their businesses as they face new challenges that come with the evolving economic landscape, especially with the rapid adoption of technology across all sectors.

“Retail-based SMEs are a large contributor to our nation’s economic landscape, and we aim to inculcate a digital business cultured environment for SMEs across various industries.

“Celcom Business Suite for Retail when paired with Alliance Bank’s financing solution narrows digital business gaps with innovative digital solutions and easier financing in one package,” he said.

Alliance Bank group CEO Joel Kornreich said the collaboration with Celcom enables both companies to help their combined customer base of over 100,000 SMEs to expand rapidly.

“Our understanding of customers’ telecommunication behaviour and usage of banking services will enable us to develop better packages to suit their needs,” he said.