Tuesday, February 7, 2023

U Mobile extends 3G RAN Sharing Agreement with Maxis until June 2019

U Mobile announced yesterday that it will be extending its 3G RAN share agreement with Maxis in limited areas until the end of June 2019. Previously, in June 2017, U Mobile said that it will be ending the agreement by the end of December 2018.

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In October 2011, Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd (Maxis) and U Mobile Sdn Bhd (U Mobile) entered into a multi-billion ringgit agreement to share Maxis’ 3G radio access networks (RAN) with U Mobile. Basically, via the agreement, selected Maxis base stations will start broadcasting U Mobile’s 3G frequency. This allows U Mobile to offer 3G coverage for voice and data to its customers via Maxis radio network. At that time, according to Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Chairman of U Mobile Sdn Bhd, the RAN sharing with Maxis will allow cost saving for U Mobile of RM2 billion over the next 10 years. He pointed to MalaysianWireless that the saving translates in to an average RM200 million a year.

The 3G RAN sharing with Maxis covered major cities and towns including Kangar, Alor Star, Kota Bahru, Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu, Melaka, Sabah and Sarawak. U Mobile uses its own 3G & 4G base stations in Klang Valley including Negeri Sembilan and other states such as Johor, Penang and in Perak.

The agreement was valid for 10 years, which is supposed to end in 2021.

U Mobile said that it is ending the deal with Maxis to focus on expanding its own network, with the additional spectrum of 2x15MHz of 1800MHz bands and 2x5MHz of 900MHz bands that were awarded by the Malaysian Government last year. The additional 1800MHz was made available on 1 April 2017 whilst the 900MHz on 1 July 2017.

Since U Mobile made the decision to terminate its 3G RAN Sharing agreement with Maxis about 18 months ago, U Mobile has embarked on an aggressive network replacement exercise across Malaysia and is in its final phase of roll-out. U Mobile said it extended the agreement with Maxis until June 2019 to ensure the transition to its very own newly built network is seamless for customers.

U Mobile have spent over RM 5 Billion in the past few years to improve its network. “U Mobile would like to thank its customers for their patience and continuous support during the transition period,” it said in a media statement.

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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