Malaysian mobile network operator Celcom Axiata has reportedly contracted Ericsson’s local subsidiary and Huawei Technologies as its main network infrastructure partners, tasking the pair with the integration, deployment and management of its 4G network developments. According to The Star Online, citing Celcom chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly, the cellco has set aside between MYR1.8 billion and MYR2.2 billion (USD458 million and USD560 million), including spectrum refarming costs, to enhance and expand its LTE-based infrastructure over the course of the next five years. The partnerships with Ericsson and Huawei, the executive noted, marked one of the components of Celcom’s ‘great migration plan’ from the traditional voice to real voice, data and digital centric player, with both vendors responsible for the full turnkey supply and product delivery, equipment, system, works and services for Celcom Radio Access Network (RAN) that would lead to better customer experience. ‘We will be adopting more new technologies from Ericsson and Huawei, which would reduce the number of sites, whilst getting a broader coverage. This is a major boost in terms of savings. Apart from that, the tie-up would benefit Celcom by getting us ready for 5G in the future,’ Shazalli said of the development.
This development follows up on Celcom’s announcement from last week that it would spend around MYR1.2 billion in 2016 alone as it looks to improve its service offerings. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, this planned investment will be used to expand the operator’s 4G coverage area, while also enhancing the quality of coverage in 25 ‘prime city areas’. Further, Cellcom also revealed last week that it is aiming to boost the number of data subscribers on its books by 35% in 2016.