Big boys to combine their expertise

The collaboration would also allow the industry to extend 4G mobile backhaul to support 5G new sites and fibre to the home expansion.

KUALA LUMPUR: Celcom Axiata Bhd (Celcom) will be jointly developing fibre infrastructure in Malaysia with Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd and Maxis Bhd to improve widespread 4G connectivity, increase the country’s fibre infrastructure and prepare tower infrastructure for a 5G future.

This comes after Celcom, Digi and Maxis concluded a definitive agreement to jointly develop and share fibre infrastructure, allowing for faster and more efficient deployment of fibre backhaul to base stations and avoiding duplication of fibre infrastructure in the country.

The collaboration would also allow the industry to extend 4G mobile backhaul to support 5G new sites and fibre to the home expansion.

In a joint statement issued yesterday, the three telco operators said they were combining their expertise in designing, building, commissioning, operating, and maintaining related fibre infrastructure nationwide.

The operators will also work on intensifying the sharing of fibre infrastructure and enhancing mutual swapping arrangements.

“Furthermore, as Malaysia accelerates its plan for 5G deployment as part of MyDigital’s ambition, a denser, fibre-rich infrastructure will be needed to deliver 5G’s key performance indicators: low latency, higher data speeds, ultra-high reliability and capacity to manage more connected devices, ” the statement said.

The fibre collaboration is effective for 20 years.

Other operators may also leverage the opportunity to tap into additional network capacity from the three telcos.

Celcom chief executive officer Idham Nawawi said the partnership would result in greater cost efficiencies for network infrastructure rollouts and services nationwide.

“Celcom will actively continue to collaborate across various industries towards creating a ‘win-win-win’ situation that will benefit the rakyat, the government, and the industry, ” he added.

Meanwhile, Digi CEO Albern Murty said the collaboration would also avoid infrastructure duplication and enable faster mobile network capacity growth through efficient rollout of fibre to sites.

“We will continue to explore synergies in our shared purpose of bringing affordable and high quality 4G connectivity to all consumers while paving the way for 5G technology and services, ” said Albern.

Maxis CEO Gokhan Ogut added that the partnership between the telcos supports the collective ambition to provide fibre connectivity that is robust, pervasive, of high-quality and affordable for all Malaysians.

“Infrastructure sharing is key to achieving this and enabling better efficiencies especially in narrowing the digital gap and generating a constructive environment for new technologies such as 5G.

“We remain committed to playing a role in supporting the country’s digital ambitions, ” he said.

Since 2005, Celcom, Digi and Maxis have been engaged in fibre infrastructure sharing bandwidth capacity to fibre-cable sharing in 2010. Tower sharing has also been ongoing before 2000 among the telcos.

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