Malaysian cellco U Mobile has inked a ten-year deal under which it will share the 3G radio access network (RAN) of the market’s leading mobile network operator by subscribers, Maxis Mobile. According to the Borneo Post, the agreement represents the first time an operator has opened access to its 3G network to a rival, while under the terms of the deal the sharing of Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure will also be included in the sharing arrangements, once such technology is deployed in the country. Maxis has said that, as a result of the collaboration, it expects to receive a significant new source of revenue, while it also claims that the move will see improved utilisation of its network in those areas that are currently underutilised. The locations at which the network will be shared do, however, exclude urban market centres, including the Klang Valley, Penang, Johor Bahru and Ipoh; U Mobile has already rolled out its own W-CDMA-based infrastructure in such regions. No financial details of the agreement have been disclosed.
Commenting on the deal, Maxis CEO Sandip Das said: ‘As an industry leader in the country, this collaboration is significant for Maxis as it reflects our commitment to promote non-duplication of infrastructure. Active sharing results in greater cost savings which in turn translates to increased direct revenue for both companies.’ Chief executive officer of U Mobile, Dr Kaizad Heerjee, meanwhile noted: ‘U Mobile is delighted to bring another first-of-its-kind innovation in the Malaysian market through this Active RAN sharing partnership with Maxis. While active RAN sharing has been successfully done by some of the most innovative operators in the world, we are delighted to be the pioneer in Malaysia, and possibly the region.’