Maxis must clarify its 5G partnership with Huawei

IN February 2019, Maxis announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with its long-term network partner, Huawei, to cooperate on full-fledged 5G trials. Following this, Maxis launched the first live trials of 5G in the country, where it recorded download speeds close to 3 Gbps.

Then in October 2019, Maxis announced that it had signed an agreement with Huawei to provide 5G network services in Malaysia. Under the agreement, Huawei provides 4G/LTE and 5G radio equipment and services to Maxis.

In February 2021, the government announced that to accelerate the rollout of 5G in the country, the government-owned entity, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), would receive 5G spectra as well as build, operate and lease 5G infrastructure to operators. new and existing telecommunications by the end. of the same year.

In July 2021, DNB announced that Ericsson would undertake the design and construction of the national 5G network at a total cost of US$2.6 billion (RM11.4). The contract includes the design and development of the end-to-end 5G network comprising the core, radio access and transport network, operating and business support systems and managed services. Separately, Ericsson said it will undertake capacity building and innovation programs to support local vendor development and engagement, as well as drive 5G adoption and develop use cases to accelerate industry involvement.

A year later, in March, the government announced that mobile network operators (MNOs) would be offered up to 70% of DNB’s capital.

Just last week, the Minister for Communications and Multimedia said only two MNOs had agreed to take shares in DNB while the others, including Maxis, had yet to respond to the offer.

Since Ericsson is building the core network, will Maxis use Huawei equipment outside of the core network?

It is important that the Maxis board explains to the public how it intends to combine its contractual commitments with Huawei and Ericsson.

Huawei has advised that its radio equipment does not interoperate with non-Huawei equipment.

If Maxis is to participate in the capital of DNB, what are the potential incompatibilities between its Huawei and Ericsson equipment?

Should the technology deployed with Huawei equipment be restored? If so, what are the additional costs for replacement?

Unlike in the United States, where the government reimburses telecom operators for the removal of existing equipment made by Chinese vendors such as Huawei and ZTE, there is no such program in the country to help Maxis.

It is already expected that MNOs may have to pay upfront wholesale fees to DNB while 5G revenues will be limited for at least the next three years.

The commercial launch of 5G took place on December 15, 2021. Coverage of the target population is expected to reach 39% by the end of 2022, 73% the following year and 86% by 2024. How this deployment plan s part of Maxis’ investment plan for the next four years?

Does the Maxis Board of Directors plan to disclose its final decision for adoption in the interest of its shareholders? As the company is listed in Bursa Malaysia, governance and transparency are required and its key performance indicators must be scrutinized by the investing public and its institutional shareholders.

Maxis isn’t called Malaysia’s number one network for nothing.

Leadership is about preparing for what’s next.

Is 5G a race Maxis aims to win? – May 12, 2022.

*FLK turned on The Malaysian Insight.

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