Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and U Mobile Sdn Bhd (U Mobile) today announced a collaboration to explore network sharing opportunities using TM’s 5G Demonstration Project (5GDP) Langkawi network as the platform.
Under the partnership, both parties said it will be exploring on several network infrastructure sharing models such as Multi-Operator Core Node (MOCN) or Multi-Operator Radio Access Network (MORAN). The collaboration reiterates both parties’ commitment towards enabling an efficient and cost-effective implementation for immersive, wide area 5G coverage ahead of the full-scale 5G infrastructure deployment in the country.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between TM and U Mobile was signed by Tengku Muneer Tengku Muzani, Chief Strategy Officer, TM while U Mobile was represented by Woon Ooi Yuen, Chief Technology Officer, U Mobile.
TM Group Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Noor Kamarul Annuar Nuruddin said the Company has been a strong advocate of infrastructure sharing, which had become the norm in many countries, including for 5G. “As the industry gears up for the next wave of infrastructure investments to support innovative 5G use cases and ever-growing customer demand for mobile broadband, telcos are eyeing new ways of accelerating the deployment of an otherwise daunting investment. This is where collaboration will be key for telcos in an era of shared 5G networks. Co-building and co-sharing with other telcos on infrastructure and with emerging ecosystem and digital players as well as industry vertical for innovative digital services would bring great savings in capital and operating expenditure, enable the players to extend coverage at a lower cost and achieve faster rollout as well as optimise resource utilisation. Infrastructure sharing not only makes economic sense but would also help address community concerns regarding the visual impact of the small cells and equipment to deliver 5G’s benefits.”
Wong Heang Tuck, U Mobile Chief Executive Officer highlighted the significance of the MOU, “U Mobile is delighted to be partnering TM to explore network sharing opportunities for 5G,” He added, “Over the past few months, we have been conducting live trials to unleash the unlimited potential of 5G for various verticals such as healthcare and we are ready to roll out these services once 5G becomes commercially available. At the core of 5G deployment is infrastructure and we are keen to explore network sharing as it accelerates deployment and is extremely suitable for greenfield deployment. With this MOU, we hope to establish a win-win partnership with TM in the coming months as we approach 5G commercial availability this year.”
At the moment, both telcos are running full-fledged 5G live trials while continuing to upgrade their core network. TM has already embarked on 11 use cases out of a total of 35 use cases under the 5GDP project undertaken by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in Langkawi. The use cases deployed by TM cover Smart City, Smart Tourism and Smart Agriculture clusters. TM said it has installed 8 out of the total 26 live 5G testing sites in Langkawi. In addition, it has also deployed the operations of an Integrated Operations Command Centre (IOCC) or known as TM 5G Command Centre (5GCC) which is at the heart of 5G implementation in Langkawi.
U Mobile, on the other hand, has deployed 5G network in Langkawi and is showcasing 5G use cases for Healthcare, Tourism, Entertainment and enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB). For Healthcare, U Mobile is partnering with MEDCOM and DoctorOnCall to make remote consultation a reality in Hospital Sultanah Maliha and Berjaya Langkawi Resort, respectively. U Mobile will also showcase Virtual Tourism, VR Gaming and 5G Fixed Wireless Access at Berjaya Langkawi Resort.