The mobile telecommunications provider in Malaysia, Celcom Axiata Bhd is prepared to launch its 5G technology services by the end of this year.
The mobile network operator (MNO) said that it is on track with its 3G sunsetting plans, starting at the end of this month in phases until completion targeted by Dec 31, 2021. The telco is also working to increase 4G network coverage at 3,200 sites nationwide.
Local media reports quoted Celcom chief executive officer (CEO) Idham Nawawi as saying: "We have embarked on the 5G journey for a while and we have done more than 50 use cases throughout the year, such as in Langkawi, Petaling Jaya, Sunway and with other partners. We have had some discussions with the government’s 5G special purpose vehicle (SPV) and yes, we are technically ready and prepared to roll out as soon as the network is available."
"We have spent some of the capital expenditure (CAPEX) that is needed for the 5G integration. Our core is in a way ready for 5G. It just needs to be connected to the 5G core of Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) so we can proceed with the services," he added.
He said the company has done two 3G sunset proof-of-concept between April and June in Semenyih and Klang, Selangor, and it has also completed the first pilot cluster 3G shutdown in Kuala Lumpur last month.
“We are on track with our plan for nationwide 3G shutdown in stages from end-September until Dec 31, 2021," he said.
Mohamad Idham said Celcom is being “very careful” with the shutdown of its 3G network to ensure no implication arises on 4G users.
“We will continue to work to raise the quality of our 4G network coverage and experience, as well as ensuring our customers have a seamless transition from 3G to 4G," he added.
Celcom currently has about 98% of devices on its network already on 4G devices, while less than 3% of its customers are still operating on 3G devices.
To date, Celcom has completed almost 95% of network upgrading works at approximately 9,500 sites, performed network optimisation at more than 3,600 sites, and delivered 4G coverage improvements at 3,200 sites, nationwide.