Hard on the heels of the announcement of 5G trials in the country, one of Malaysia’s leading mobile network operators, Maxis, has signed a deal with China’s Huawei Technologies for the provisioning of a 5G network.
While 5G provisioning is obviously important, the significance of this agreement to both parties is further underlined by the fact that the signing ceremony – where the CEOs of Maxis and Huawei signed the agreement – was witnessed by the Malaysian Prime Minister and a number of senor government figures and industry executives.
Huawei, a long-term network partner of Maxis, will be supplying 4G/LTE and 5G radio equipment and services. Not only will Maxis have access to 5G technologies, says Huawei, but it will be able to modernise its existing LTE network to be 5G-ready. Thus, building on existing investments and footprint, Maxis should be able to facilitate faster rollout of 5G services when spectrum is available.
Huawei will also be putting together a team of experts to support Maxis on a series of technical training programmes on planning, operations and maintenance of the 5G network.
Maxis has been assessing 5G technology and conducting trials in its test lab for a number of years. It has also been upgrading its transport network and virtualising its core network elements to meet the gigabit speeds and capacity requirements 5G is likely to demand.
In February, Maxis and Huawei signed an MoU to cooperate on 5G trials. Soon after, Maxis commenced the first 5G live trials in the country, where it recorded close to 3Gbps download speeds.
Malaysia is clearly keen to show itself 5G-ready. Not only are leading operators Digi and Maxis expanding their infrastructure-sharing arrangements but, as reported earlier this month on this site, the country’s government has confirmed that eight companies are investing in 5G trials. The trials, which will last for six months and are due to begin this month, are aimed at boosting business deployments of 5G across nine industrial sectors.