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Modernising Malaysia’s 4G network with ZTE

Modernising Malaysia’s 4G network with ZTE

30 Aug 2021

Mobile operator Digi works with ZTE to continue upgrading its 4G infrastructure so Malaysians can enjoy the excellent mobile data experience.

The invention of 4G changed mobile broadband forever, its widespread adoption empowering generations of Malaysians to connect with the world and each other. 4G technology has also opened doors of opportunities for what Malaysians are able to accomplish and is expected to generate RM 29 billion in value added to the country by 2023 according to a GMSA study in 2018. Given the positive economic impact to the country, Malaysia continues to promote upgrades to its existing wireless mobile infrastructure.

Naturally, the fulfilment of such digital aspirations needs seamless 4G coverage nationwide, so on 15th October, 2020, Digi announced a partnership with ZTE for its nationwide Radio Access Network (RAN) modernisation as part of Digi’s continuous effort to enhance its network and deliver enhanced customer experience. This modernisation initiative will upgrade Digi’s RAN with the latest technology evolution that supports higher downlink and uplink throughput as well as lower latency, to meet customers’ growing demand for higher data speed and smoother internet experiences. ZTE’ fulfills this solution by installing equipment that has higher processing capabilities with new features such as Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, multi-carrier aggregation, Massive MIMO, and Cellular Internet of Things (C-IoT).

This comes after the announcement in 2020 that Malaysia will be retiring its 3G network, or what is also known as 3G sunsetting, by the end of 2021. With more spectrum previously occupied by 3G being gradually released to the use of 4G, the country will shift its focus on enhancing the 4G experience for users, who can expect to enjoy noticeable improvements such as higher data speed, lower latency, as well as improved network reliability and stability.

To this end, ZTE recently completed its first 3G sunset trials by providing input to refarm the L21 spectrum to full 15Mhz, which boosted the performance of Digi’s 4G network in the vicinity of the trial sites. In addition, based on the wireless technology accumulation, ZTE’s wireless network has the capability for future evolution which can help the operator upgrade its network smoothly.

The 3G network sunsetting is part of Jalinan Digital Negara, or JENDELA’s plans to bring quality connectivity to all Malaysians, spearheaded by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), working in collaboration with telecommunication players across the industry.

Digi’s Chief Technology Officer, Kesavan Sivabalan said: “Our priority remains in delivering quality connectivity and internet experience for our customers. Throughout the pandemic, we ensured that Digi’s network and connectivity service levels are maintained. Additionally, we continue to stay focused on delivering our JENDELA commitments to further improve our network performance by upgrading current 4G sites, as well as expanding our coverage areas with new site rollouts.”

Digi’s 4G LTE and LTE-A network coverage now serves 92% and 75% of the population nationwide respectively. It is also Malaysia’s fastest mobile operator as reported in Ookla’s Q2 2021 speed test ranking.

Sivabalan added that by continuously investing in modernising their network, Digi is delivering speed, efficiency and agility that is critical for its day-to-day operations. At the same time, the modernised and efficient network will also enable Digi to be future-ready to provide new and innovative services, significantly improve the overall quality of experience for customers, as well as serve as a catalyst to Malaysia’s transformation into a digital society.

It is inevitable that Malaysia’s communications infrastructure would need to grow and in modernising the 4G network, ZTE is incorporating AI-driven technology to reduce reliance on manpower and a host of tedious manual processes that are time-consuming and often inflexible.

The use of AI technology also resulted in a lower carbon emission footprint, contributing to the crucial realisation of Digi’s Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) aspirations.

ZTE’s Managing Director for Malaysia, Steven Ge said: “ZTE has introduced solutions that encompass greater automation and increasing reliance on Artificial Intelligence to yield dividends for mobile operators. We will continue to support our partner’s ambitions such as Digi’s goal to connect customers through a high-quality network alongside their need to be a responsible corporate citizen. The ongoing modernisation will allow Digi to have a highly-sophisticated 4G LTE network that will deliver a far superior performance to support customers’ increasing demand for quality connectivity.”

Working closely with mobile operators next year, ZTE will continue to jointly monitor network optimisation, network performance and customer experience in  the post-3G era, following improvements to the 4G network so that the potential of the 4G LTE devices can be maximised to deliver an optimal experience for users.

ZTE acknowledges its critical role in helping Malaysia fulfil the goals outlined in MyDIGITAL, which symbolises the aspirations of the Government to successfully transform Malaysia into a digitally-driven, high-income nation and being a regional leader in the digital economy. MyDIGITAL contains the plans for Malaysia’s journey to be a technologically-advanced economy through the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint. 

Source: The Edge Markets