Celcom Axiata partners with Ericsson and Huawei to upgrade 4G network

Malaysian mobile network operator Celcom Axiata Bhd has contracted with Ericsson Malaysia and Huawei Technologies as main network infrastructure partners, to integrate, deploy and manage its 4G LTE network developments.

Celcom chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly said the group has set aside RM1.8 billion to RM2.2 billion of CapEx to enhance and expand its LTE infrastructure over the next five years.

Under the agreement, both Ericsson and Huawei will be responsible for the full turnkey supply and delivery of product, equipment, system, works and services for Celcom Radio Access Network (RAN), which is expected to further enhance customer experience.

Ramly said that the partnerships with Ericsson and Huawei marked one of the components of Celcom’s ‘great migration plan’ from the traditional voice to real voice, data and digital centric player.

“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.

“Celcom has always been at the forefront of upholding its brand promise to its customers by providing ultrafast, seamless and widest network. With a strong growth in subscribers today, Celcom is taking this step in ensuring that it will provide the best network quality and ultrafast 4G LTE data traffic,” Shazalli said.

This development comes after Celcom’s announcement last week that it has allocated at least MYR1.2 billion (USD308 million) for capital expenditure this year to improve its service offerings. This planned investment would be used to expand its 4G service areas, as well as enhancing the quality of coverage in 25 identified prime city areas.

“These prime city areas will have higher quality services in the context of 4G network and very standardized throughput speed so that people who are using our services, specifically 4G services, would enjoy better streaming, downloading, uploading and access to Internet at any point in time within these areas,” Shazalli said last week.

Celcom is aiming to boost the number of data subscribers on its books by 35% in 2016 driven by plans offered under the First brand.