Tuesday, May 30, 2023

U Mobile partners with edotco to accelerate network rollout

U Mobile has partnered with edotco, a communications infrastructure services company, to accelerate network rollout and improve customer experience.

[ (From left to right) Wong Heang Tuck, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of U Mobile, Too Tian Jen, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of U Mobile, Hadi Helmi Sooria, Country Manager of edotco Malaysia and James Maclaurin, Group CEO of edotco at the official signing ceremony of Master Infrastructure Services Agreement (MISA) between U Mobile and edotco Malaysia. ]
The mobile operator said that the collaboration seeks to provide timely and cost-effective solutions that will result in wider and stronger network coverage, enabling U Mobile customers to enjoy seamless and greater mobile experience on-the-go.

The collaboration will see edotco leasing tower site space whilst providing power and site maintenance for the sites. This will enable U Mobile to expand its network in the country.

Responding to a question from MalaysianWireless, a U Mobile spokesperson said “The agreement with edotco does not overlap with our 3G RAN sharing partnership with Maxis, as U Mobile is leasing edotco’s tower and rooftop network sites in areas where our 3G RAN sharing do not cover. This is part of our network strategy to widen our network coverage to cater to the growing demand for  mobile services across the nation. ”

In “phase 1” of the collaboration, U Mobile will lease 42 tower sites from edotco and more site will be added in the future.

“This timely partnership is in line with U Mobile’s strategy to enhance its network quality and coverage, enabling U Mobile to grow and develop rapidly as a household brand. edotco’s expertise in network infrastructure will contribute greatly to this strategy. We certainly look forward to more collaboration in the future,” said Wong Heang Tuck, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of U Mobile Sdn Bhd.

edotco Group CEO James Maclaurin added, “The 10-year partnership affirms edotco’s drive to encourage network sharing and push to reduce parallel capacity and overall environmental impact of tower infrastructures within the nation. With the industry’s support, edotco will move ahead to drive initiatives such as energy management technologies and innovative engineering to realise improved operational and cost efficiencies and better serve our customers.”

According to the edotco Malaysia website, the company was established in Malaysia sometime in May 2013 with a team of more than 60 employees.  Based at KL Sentral, it received the Network Facilities Provider (NFP) and the Network Service Provider (NSP)  licenses in 2014. To date, the company has a footprint of more than 3,400 sites nationwide, including ground based sites, rooftop towers, in-building solutions (IBS), cellular on wheel (COW) and custom built sites.

edotco Group Sdn Bhd(formerly Axiata SPV3 Sdn Bhd) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad while edotco Malaysia Sdn Bhd(formerly Celcom Services Sdn Bhd) is a company part of Celcom Axiata. Despite the relationship with Axiata, which has network related operations in at least 9 countries in Asia, edotco claims that it is Southeast Asia’s first “independent communications infrastructure services company”.

The Axiata Group is the parent company of Celcom Axiata.

Similar to Axiata Group, edotco has operations in Malaysia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh & Pakistan.

In 2011, U Mobile partnered with China-based ZTE for the deployment of its 3G and 4G LTE network in Malaysia. The mobile operator launched its LTE service in late 2013 with limited coverage and speeds up to 75Mbps together with ZTE and Huawei. This year, U Mobile is planning to roll out a few hundred more sites to improve its LTE coverage.

The companies that that network sharing and leasing will mean greater efficiency to U Mobile, as well as the industry, and the environment as the infrastructure can be utilised and optimised to provide connectivity to the public, without having to build new towers and sites. U Mobile’s partnership with edotco is synonymous with the company’s efforts in building a long-lasting and reliable network solution that will best accommodate its end users.

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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