Celcom, Digi and Maxis will share fibre infrastructure for faster 4G rollout and to support new 5G sites

Malaysia’s top 3 telcos – Celcom, Digi and Maxis have announced that they have signed a Definitive Agreement to jointly develop and share fibre infrastructure which will enable them to deploy fibre backhaul to mobile base stations faster and more efficient without duplication. As a result, the collaboration will improve 4G connectivity and increase fibre infrastructure which will serve as a strong foundation for future 5G networks.

The three telcos will combine their expertise in designing, building, commissioning, operating and maintaining related fibre infrastructure nationwide. They will also work on intensifying sharing of fibre infrastructure and to enhance mutual swapping arrangements.

According to the statement, fibre connectivity will complement microwave access to provide an efficient backhaul combination for mobile base stations. It added that microwave technology enables fast deployment while fibre infrastructure upgrades will enable all 3 telcos to be better prepared for high internet traffic demand especially in high impact areas. These upgrades will allow the industry to extend the 4G backhaul to support new 5G sites and fibre to the home expansion.

Celcom, Digi and Maxis have been engaging in fibre infrastructure sharing since 2005 for bandwidth capacity, followed by fibre-cable sharing in 2010. The telcos have started sharing towers before 2000.

The fibre sharing agreement will be effective for 20 years and planning is currently underway for joint build and swapping arrangements. Other service providers may also leverage the opportunity to tap into the extra capacity from the three telcos.

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Alexander Wong