Malaysia’s Axiata Group plans to select two vendors for its domestic 5G rollout, Reuters reports. With China’s Huawei Technologies having been a long-term equipment supplier for the group, the two companies already have a preliminary deal under which they will work together on the deployment of 5G for Malaysian mobile network operator (MNO) Celcom Axiata, with the rollout expected to get underway later this year.
Now, with Axiata reportedly expecting to spend at least USD1 billion on the deployment of 5G over a five-year period, the group has confirmed that it expects to have two vendors working on the project. To that end, group CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim was cited as saying in reference to Huawei and another previous vendor partner, Ericsson: ‘Generally we like to have two vendors, and in Malaysia, generally it would be these two.’ It was noted, though, that other vendors such as Finland’s Nokia and China’s ZTE will also be invited to participate in the tender for the domestic MNO’s 5G rollout.
Meanwhile, the report also cited Jamaludin as saying that Axiata was in talks with rival Malaysian cellcos with a view to a possible joint deployment of 5G, with a view to cutting costs. The executive declined to name the parties involved in these discussions, however.