Maxis provides 3G RAN sharing services to U Mobile; first active 3G RAN sharing in South-East Asia
Agreement allows U Mobile to expand its physical network coverage area by 4-5 times virtually overnight
AS part of a network sharing initiative, Maxis Berhad has agreed to provide 3G Radio Access Network (RAN) access across over 1,300 sites to U Mobile under a mutually beneficial multibillion-ringgit agreement, saying this would ensure greater efficiency in services delivery from both companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This demonstrates the company’s “continued commitment to the Government and the Multimedia Communications and Multimedia Commission’s call for greater cooperation on network sharing among industry participants,” Maxis said in a statement.
Mark Dioguardi (pic), Maxis joint chief operating officer, said, “One of our key strategies is to maximize the return on our network assets, especially in under-utilized parts of the network. By doing so, we create economies of scale, reduce our cost to serve and as a result, can pass on additional value to both our Maxis subscribers and our shareholders.”
“We are open to any form of infrastructure-sharing and if our spare capacity can be used by a new player, it is mutually beneficial for us to sell that capacity as opposed to there being even more duplication,” he added.
Jaffa Sany Ariffin, U Mobile chief executive officer, said, “We are delighted to be working together with Maxis under this unique agreement as it enables us to expand our physical network coverage area by four to five times, almost overnight.
He said the agreement allows U Mobile to expand its network and at the same time enjoy considerable savings on operating and capital expenditure.
“We also expect to grow our subscriber base as more and more consumers across peninsula Malaysia come to understand the value U Mobile offers through our innovative and affordable packages and services,” he added.
The benefits of the Maxis and U Mobile RAN shared network – which Maxis claimed was first of its kind in South-East Asia – will be extended to locations outside urban market centers where U Mobile is committed to providing high speed mobile broadband services.
The network-sharing arrangement also includes Maxis providing Nationwide 2G Roaming to ensure seamless services to U Mobile subscribers.
In a related development, Maxis also entered an infrastructure- and spectrum-sharing agreement with REDtone International that will enable both players to fast-track their rollout of ultra-high speed 4G networks throughout the country.
This will present customers with the opportunity to access the highest 4G broadband speeds in the country – up to 150 Mbps – with the latest 4G LTE technology through the combined spectrum, Maxis claimed.
“Mobile operators worldwide are looking for cost efficiencies across the industry,” said Maxis’ Dioguardi.
“In a mature market such as Malaysia, infrastructure, spectrum and RAN sharing can considerably reduce capex (capital expenditure) and opex (operating expenditure), increase the speed of network rollouts, enhance coverage and more importantly, meet the rapidly increasing demands for data and voice capacity while still allowing operators to differentiate on services.
“Sharing is about working smarter as an industry and focusing spend where it matters most. We’re not just talking about it, we have done it and on a huge scale,” he claimed.