Celcom and DiGi to share Telekom network infra in 10yr deal

  • Celcom and DiGi get access to more backhaul networks to meet surging demand
  • Collaboration will help avoid unnecessary duplication of network infrastructure
Celcom and DiGi to share Telekom network infra in 10yr deal

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM) and mobile operators Celcom Axiata Bhd (through its wholly-owned subsidiary Celcom Networks Sdn Bhd) and DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd have inked a 10-year wholesale bandwidth collaborative deal for backhaul services.
Under the agreement, TM will provide wholesale bandwidth connectivity via TM Next-Gen Backhaul services for aggregation and access sites jointly owned by Celcom and DiGi, covering between 3,000 and 3,500 kilometres in Peninsular Malaysia.
This forms an important part of the ongoing network collaboration initiative between Celcom and DiGi announced in early 2011, particularly with regards to the joint ambition to roll out more than 10,000 kilometres of fibre network nationwide, TM said in a statement.
To keep pace with demand, Malaysian mobile network operators (MNOs) have to deliver significant improvement in their network quality to offer low latency and high bandwidth to mobile devices.
In order to achieve this, they need to gain access to more backhaul networks providing higher degrees of flexibility and better scalability, TM said.
This industry collaboration would also give customers higher quality experience when they access high-bandwidth digital content, or run real-time applications on their mobile devices, the company added.
“Malaysians all over the country today require access to always-on, high-speed data connectivity to cater to their increasing needs,” said DiGi chief executive officer Henrik Clausen.
“By leasing wholesale bandwidth services for access and aggregation fibre network from TM, DiGi will be able to obtain quick access to fibre infrastructure to support our future network capacity demands,” he said.
Celcom Axiata chief executive officer Shazalli Ramly said, “This collaboration is a significant milestone for Celcom – not only as a showcase of industry collaborations in line with national aspirations but also as a major step towards top-notch customer experience.”
TM said it would support Celcom and DiGi’s transmission requirements, whilst enabling both companies to optimise cost and efficiently utilise its infrastructure.
In line with regulatory requirements for service providers to have a robust backhaul network for LTE (Long Term Evolution) rollout, this collaboration will help to avoid unnecessary duplication of network infrastructure, and is a strategic move by the operators to be more operationally efficient as the industry matures, TM added.
The company would optimise its extensive nationwide network infrastructure to support the ever-growing needs for higher mobile bandwidth demand from Celcom and DiGi customers, said TM group chief executive officer Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa.
“Backhaul networks need to be able to support the main traffic types – voice, video, network signalling/management and Internet data. Leveraging on TM’s strength on its nationwide fibre coverage and resilient network platform, Celcom and DiGi subscribers will be able to enjoy seamless and quality services via their mobile devices everywhere, anywhere,” he said.
Zamzamzairani said the 10-year collaboration would see two phases of development.
“The first phase will be over a three-year period starting from 2014 until 2016, followed by the second-phase deployment of additional sites for mobile access and aggregator sites across Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.
This collaboration between key Malaysian telco industry players is in line with the Government’s call for greater industry partnerships, while at the same time promotes healthy competition among the players as service providers will be focusing on delivering improved customer experiences and better value offerings, which ultimately will benefit Malaysian consumers, TM said.
“Infrastructure sharing among industry players is gaining traction around the world,” noted DiGi’s Clausen.
“Our collaborative effort today marks another clear move to be more operationally efficient as an industry, and by leveraging on synergies created we will be able to build and utilise our assets more efficiently, optimise costs, and avoid duplicating network infrastructures.
“Ultimately, benefits derived from operational efficiencies will be channeled towards accelerating our reach and significantly improving the quality of our services to all customers across Malaysia,” he added.
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