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U Mobile partners Nokia to improve 4G LTE Network & Live Test 5G

Leading network and solution company Nokia and award winning 4G Telco, U Mobile have announced today a collaboration to expand U Mobile’s 4G LTE network across Malaysia and to live test 5G technology later this year.

U Mobile Nokia Single RAN & 5G

L-R: Neil Tomkinson, Chief Information Officer of U Mobile; Woon Ooi Yuen, Chief Technology Officer of U Mobile; Dato’ Siva Shanmugam, Managing Director of Nokia Malaysia; Shaazlina Marican, Head of Customer Team of Nokia Malaysia signing the agreement on 16 May 2019

As part of the collaboration, both companies have signed a three-year contract to deploy a Nokia Single Radio Access Network (RAN) network as well as microwave and IP-based mobile transport technologies to enable U Mobile to expand the delivery of mobile data services across Malaysia. Both companies, via a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), will also collaborate on a 5G live network trial later this year.

Under the three-year agreement, Nokia will deploy a Single RAN Advanced network in greenfield (under developed or rural area) locations across Malaysia (to date at Pahang, Terengganu, Langkawi), facilitating U Mobile’s aggressive network expansion and drive to provide customers with “a superior data experience”. With this deployment it also means customers all across Malaysia will be able to further enjoy “U Mobile’s unlimited innovations”.

Additionally, Nokia and U Mobile recently signed a MoU to conduct a trial of the 5G live network. The trial will be done later this year and will demonstrate the 5G capability of enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) as well as other 5G use cases such as in the fields of virtual reality (VR) and e-sports. The Single RAN Advanced Network is currently installed at U Mobile and using Nokia’s AirScale base stations, now 5G-ready.

Nokia AirScale Base Station

An example of a Nokia AirScale Base Station

As a current provider of 3G and 4G LTE mobile services via a combination of its own network and through a RAN sharing agreement, U Mobile said it wants to extend its network coverage and capacity to address this growing demand with a range of competitive services.

Woon Ooi Yuen, CTO of U Mobile said: “U Mobile has been aggressively expanding our network across Malaysia in our drive to bring our customers a superior experience. We are delighted to be able to leverage on Nokia’s expertise in our network expansion journey. We are of course also looking forward to working with Nokia as part of our Road To 5G Strategy. We have in our plan to conduct several 5G live trials with Nokia later this year for various use cases. Currently, we already have in place Nokia’s AirScale base stations which are 5G-ready and hence, ready for trials.’’

Jae Won, head of Asia Pacific and Japan at Nokia, said: “With our extensive end-to-end portfolio we are helping U Mobile to roll out a network that meets its specific needs. Working together on this advanced network deployment and the upcoming 5G live trials, we can help U Mobile meet its mobile broadband demands while providing a path toward 5G – especially in high-potential areas such as virtual reality and e-sports.”

To date, Nokia claims it has signed 37 5G commercial contracts across the world, including 20 with named customers. Nokia will continue to actively work on 5G use cases with manufacturing hubs and agricultural regions, it said.

Details about the solution involved in the deal, according to Nokia:

  • Nokia Single RAN Advanced using Nokia AirScale base stations will support 2G, 3G, 4G, 4.5G Pro and 4.9G in a single unit, with the ability to evolve to 5G via software upgrade
  • Nokia 7705 Service Aggregation Routers, deployed at the network edge, closer to end-users, along with 7750 Service Routers will provide high-performance IP-based mobile access and aggregation and ensure end-to-end application delivery and management
  • Nokia Wavence Microwave transport will support backhaul and fronthaul demands as U Mobile evolves its 4G LTE network in line with customer demand and transitions to 5G in the future.
  • Nokia Wavence and Service Aggregation Routers and Service Routers are all part of the Nokia Anyhaul portfolio – a comprehensive, capable and programmable, 5G-ready mobile transport solution.
  • Nokia Network Service Platform provides Carrier SDN support for Wavence Microwave and IP routing technologies, leveraging network-based intelligence to automatically adapt mobile transport capabilities in dynamic, ultra-dense environments
  • Nokia NetAct network management provides one consolidated view over any network, even the most complicated multi-domain, multi-technology system. NetAct is virtualized for minimal downtime and resilience and provides full network visibility and control, whether traditional or cloud-based.
  • Turnkey deployment by Nokia Global Services with automation enabled by Nokia Delivery Platform, Robotic Process Automation. End-to-end services across radio, transport and IP domains including project management, network design, integration and testing, technical support, and performance optimization.
  • The Single RAN Advanced Network for U Mobile is 5G-ready and will leverage on Nokia’s Anyhaul radios to conduct live trials of 5G solutions later in 2019.

About Kugan

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