Celcom and DiGi seal collaborative deal with TM for TM next-gen backhaul? services

Press Release
December 12, 2013

Celcom and DiGi seal collaborative deal with TM for TM next-gen backhaul™ services
Key industry players set to work together to provide extensive robust backhaul network infrastructure for broadband rollout in Peninsular Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, 13 December 2013 - Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) together with two (2) key mobile operators Celcom Axiata Berhad (Celcom), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Celcom Networks Sdn Bhd (Celcom Networks) and DiGi Telecommunications Sdn. Bhd. (DiGi) today marked another major milestone in the nation’s telecommunications industry when the three (3) operators inked a wholesale bandwidth collaborative deal for TM Next-Gen Backhaul™ Services.

Witnessed by YB. Dato’ Jailani Johari, Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia, the principle terms of the landmark collaborative deal was documented in two (2) binding documents signed by Chief Executive Officers of TM, Celcom and DiGi; Tan Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa, Group Chief Executive Officer, TM, Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Chief Executive Officer, Celcom and Henrik Clausen, Chief Executive Officer, DiGi respectively. Also present at the event was Dato’ Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi, Chairman, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

To keep pace with the on going demands and needs of the industry, Malaysian Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are challenged to deliver significant improvement in their network quality to offer low latency and high bandwidth to mobile devices. In order to achieve this, MNOs need to gain access to more backhaul networks providing higher degrees of flexibility and better scalability. This industry collaboration also serves as a positive move; enabling a higher quality customer experience when they access high-bandwidth digital content, or run real-time applications on their mobile devices.

In this groundbreaking collaborative deal, TM will provide wholesale bandwidth connectivity via TM Next-Gen Backhaul services for aggregation and access sites jointly owned by Celcom (via Celcom Networks) and DiGi, covering a span of between 3,000 and 3,500 kilometres in Peninsular Malaysia. This forms an important part of the ongoing network collaboration initiative between Celcom and DiGi announced in early 2011, particularly with regards to the joint ambition to roll out more than 10,000 kilometres of fibre network nationwide.

TM will support Celcom and DiGi’s transmission requirements, whilst enabling both companies to optimise cost and efficiently utilise its infrastructure. In line with regulatory requirements for service providers to have a robust backhaul network for LTE rollout, this collaboration will help to avoid unnecessary duplication of network infrastructures and it is a strategic move by the operators to be more operationally efficient as the industry matures.

Commenting on the collaboration, Tan Sri Zamzamzairaini said, "We are indeed very happy with this signing with Celcom and DiGi, two (2) major players in the industry, in what is yet another landmark collaboration. As Malaysia’s leading telecommunications infrastructure provider, TM will optimise its extensive nationwide network infrastructure coverage to provide cost effective and high capacity bandwidth via resilient IP network platform for TM Next-Gen Backhaul™ Services deployment. This will support the continuous and ever-growing needs for higher mobile bandwidth demand of both Celcom and DiGi’s customers. Backhaul networks need to be able to support the main traffic types - voice, video, network signalling/management and internet data. Leveraging on TM’s strength on its nationwide fibre coverage and resilient network platform, Celcom and DiGi subscribers will be able to enjoy seamless and quality services via their mobile devices everywhere, anywhere."

"The long term collaboration, spanning more than ten (10) years, between the three (3) parties will see two (2) phases of development. The first phase will be over a three (3) year period starting from 2014 until 2016 followed by the second phase deployment of additional sites for mobile access and aggregator sites across Peninsular Malaysia. This partnership re-iterates TM’s commitment in providing an open access for all MCMC-licensed service providers, allowing these operators to provide and deliver high quality services to their end users hence further strengthening our position as a neutral service provider", added Tan Sri Zamzamzairani.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Henrik Clausen, DiGi’s Chief Executive Officer said; "Demand for quality internet services is growing year-by-year in Malaysia, and Malaysians all over the country today require access to always-on, high-speed data connectivity to cater to their increasing needs. By leasing wholesale bandwidth services for access and aggregation fibre network from TM, DiGi will be able to obtain quick access to fibre infrastructure to support our future network capacity demands, to deliver affordable and high-quality internet connectivity to more Malaysians."

"Infrastructure sharing among industry players is gaining traction around the world. Our collaborative effort today marks another clear move to be more operationally efficient as an industry, and by leveraging on synergies created we will be able to build and utilise our assets more efficiently, optimise costs, and avoid duplicating network infrastructures. Ultimately, benefits derived from operational efficiencies will be channeled towards accelerating our reach and significantly improving the quality of our services to all customers across Malaysia."

Further commenting on the collaboration, Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Chief Executive Officer, Celcom mentioned, "This collaboration is a significant milestone for Celcom - not only as a showcase of industry collaborations in line with national aspirations but also as a major step towards top-notch customer experience. We are committed to improving our nationwide network for coverage and speeds in the long run and this represents one of many key investments into network quality that Celcom is currently implementing."

This collaboration between key Malaysian telco industry players is in line with the Government’s call for greater industry partnerships and at the same time promoting healthy competition among the players as service providers will be focusing on delivering improved customer experience and better value offerings, which ultimately will benefit Malaysian consumers.

For further information on TM, visit www.tm.com.my. For more information on Celcom, visit www.celcom.com.my and for more information on DiGi, visit www.digi.com.my.