Big three telcos in pact to jointly develop, share fibre
By Digital News Asia March 18, 2021
- Industry can extend 4G mobile backhaul supporting new 5G sites
- Common practice, collaboration since 2005
MALAYSIAN telcos Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd and Maxis Berhad has announced a tripatite definitive agreement to jointly develop and share fibre infrastructure.
In a joint statement, the telcos said this would allow for faster and more efficient deployment of fibre backhaul to base stations and avoid the duplication of fibre infrastructure in the country.
The collaboration is expected to improve 4G connectivity to all Malaysians and increase the country’s fibre infrastructure in line with Malaysian government’s ambitions under the National Digital Infrastructure Plan (Jendela), as well as to prepare for 5G tower infrastructure in the near future, they said.
In accelerating a joint rollout, the three operators will combine their expertise in designing, building, commissioning, operating, and maintaining related fibre infrastructure nationwide, they added.
The operators will also work on intensifying the sharing of fibre infrastructure and enhancing mutual swapping arrangements, and leverages on the strengths of fibre technology to complement microwave transmissions, the three companies said.
While the microwave technology is fast to deploy, fibre infrastructure upgrades will enable the three operators to be better prepared for Internet traffic growth especially in high impact areas, they said.
The collaboration would also allow the industry to extend 4G mobile backhaul to support new 5G sites and fibre-to-the-home expansion, they added.
According to the statement, infrastructure, tower and bandwidth sharing among operators are a common practice.
Celcom, Digi and Maxis have been engaged in fibre infrastructure sharing since 2005 with bandwidth capacity as a start, continuing to fibre-cable sharing in 2010. Tower sharing has also been ongoing before 2000, they said.
The fibre collaboration is effective for 20 years. Planning is well underway and other operators may also leverage the opportunity to tap into additional network capacity from the three telcos.
Idham Nawawi, chief executive officer (CEO) of Celcom, said: “Celcom’s partnership with Maxis and Digi, which are also major telco players in the country, will result in greater cost efficiencies for network infrastructure rollouts and services nationwide, which supports the ever-increasing traffic demand.”
“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 Murty, CEO of Digi.
“We are pleased to see our collaboration progressing to the next level as it supports our collective ambition to provide fibre connectivity that is robust, pervasive, of high-quality and affordable for all Malaysians,” said Gokhan Ogut, CEO of Maxis.
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