Photo - Mark Dioguardi, joint chief operating officer, Maxis.
According to Malaysian telco Maxis, it is demonstrating an active commitment to the country's telecoms sector by providing wholesale 2G and 3G services. Maxis has just announced it is providing 3G RAN (radio access network) sharing services to local telco U Mobile.
This latest move demonstrates the company's continued commitment to the government and the Multimedia Communications and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) call for greater cooperation on network sharing among industry participants, said Maxis' joint chief operating officer Mark Dioguardi.
"One of our key strategies is to maximise the return on our network assets, especially in under-utilised parts of the network," said Dioguardi. "By doing so, we create economies of scale, reduce our cost to serve and as a result can pass on additional value to both our Maxis subscribers and our shareholders. It's good for the environment and good for balance of trade. Overall, it just makes good business sense."
"We are confident that U Mobile will benefit from the high quality and extensive coverage of the country's widest high-speed network from Maxis," he said. "We are open to any form of infrastructure sharing and if our spare capacity can be used by a new player, it is mutually beneficial for us to sell that capacity as opposed to there being even more duplication. We run great networks with the best engineers in the country and have a lot of network know-how."
U Mobile chief executive officer, Jaffa Sany Ariffin, said: "We are delighted to be working together with Maxis under this unique agreement as it enables us to expand our physical network coverage area by 4-5 times, almost overnight. Through this partnership, we are delivering to our business strategy of continuously expanding our network and, at the same time, the company will enjoy considerable savings on operating and capital expenditure.
"We also expect to grow our subscriber base as more and more consumers across Peninsula Malaysia come to understand the value U Mobile offers through our innovative and affordable packages and services."
"The benefits of the Maxis and U Mobile RAN shared network, which the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, will be extended to many locations outside urban market centres where U Mobile is committed to providing high speed mobile broadband services," said Jaffa. "The network sharing arrangement also includes Maxis providing Nationwide 2G Roaming to ensure seamless services to U Mobile subscribers."
Maxis's Dioguardi said that in a related recent development, Maxis entered an infrastructure and spectrum sharing agreement with REDTone International that would allow both players to fast track their rollout of ultra-high speed 4G networks throughout the country. "This will present customers with the opportunity to access the highest 4G broadband speeds in the country - up to 150 Mbps (megabits per second), with the latest 4G LTE (long term evolution) technology through the combined spectrum."
"Mobile operators worldwide are looking for cost efficiencies across the industry," he said. "In a mature market such as Malaysia, infrastructure, spectrum and RAN sharing can considerably reduce capex (capital expenditure) and opex (operating expenditure), increase the speed of network rollouts, enhance coverage and more importantly, meet the rapidly increasing demands for data and voice capacity while still allowing operators to differentiate on services.
"Sharing is about working smarter as an industry and focusing spending where it matters most. We're not just talking about it, we have done it and on a huge scale."
"Maxis is the biggest wireless network investor in the country investing RM3.7 billion [US$1.2 billion] in capex in the past three years resulting in 95 percent 2G and 81 percent high speed 3G coverage of the population," said Diguardi. "Maxis now has 3,400 of its 5,200 3G sites enabled with 42Mbps capability and is ready for 4G LTE activation."
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