Q&A with ZTE’s Steven Ge: DiGi Malaysia Modernisation

Q&A with ZTE’s Steven Ge: DiGi Malaysia Modernisation

As Malaysia pushes towards 5G, Digi has undertaken an extensive network modernization program with ZTE to ensure that it is able to meet subscriber demands. We spoke with ZTE’s Steven Ge to find out how Digi is improving its user experience.

Please give us some background on your partnership with Digi in Malaysia?

ZTE and Digi trusted partnership began from 2011 and we have continuously grown together in this past decade. ZTE has provided RAN, transmission, Core Network and VAS from 2G, 3G, 4G and from 15th Oct 2020 we committed to work together in the 5G era. Throughout this journey we have always supported Digi and ensure the network is optimized.

What benefits will network modernisation deliver to Digi in Malaysia?

As a customer-centric business, ZTE’s network modernization is cost efficient and cost saving. With our 5G ready UBR solution, RRU rental is halved and is equipped to handle 700 MHz and 900 MHz as well as 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz spectrums. With our in house chipset, power consumption is reduced by 20%. This is in line with Digi and ZTE’s green initiative. Last but not least, technology is sustainable and future proof as it is software enabled for the 700 MHz and 5G.

5G presents an opportunity to identify new revenue streams for Digi. This is in line with industry 4.0 revolution as well as the government’s JENDELA initiative.

How will ZTE’s network upgrade improve the user experience for Digi’s subscribers?

They will be able to enjoy the latest technology that supports higher throughput and lower latency. This fulfills customer higher data speeds demand and smoother internet experiences.

There will also be new features such as Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, multi Carrier Aggregation, higher order MIMO, mobile edge computing and Cellular Internet of Things (C-IoT) catering for future readiness and 5G technologies. For example, ZTE world’s largest transmit power Massive MIMO achieves 1Gbps throughput. VoLTE provides the subscriber with HD voice while VoNR provides Full-HD voice.

How does seamless upgrade ensure that networks are future-proof?

As a company heavily invested in RnD, ZTE has shared with Digi insights on future technology and network roadmap. Existing core network is NSA ready, with modernization the network is 5G software enabled. To support a SA network, only the core network needs to be upgraded from LTE+ to 5GC.

Furthermore, high efficiency optimization tool VMAX does not required a physical drive test therefore there is no geographical and timing limitation providing a huge sample with improved data fidelity and accuracy.

Where does ZTE have similar contracts, and what benefits can be delivered to these markets?

ZTE has delivered similar contracts to Asian countries such as China, Philippine, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. Beyond that, contract has been signed in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. These markets enjoy CAPEX and OPEX savings, latest technologies and optimized network on top of strong local presence to support each country, knowledge transfer and fast time to market. ZTE aims to be the trusted long term partner by providing future proof technology and support.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your activities?

In line with the government’s regulations and prioritizing the health and safety of our customer and staff, ZTE Malaysia implements work from home where possible. Our operations carry on with strict SOP while ensuring network quality is not compromised. Our annual Leading 5G Tour event has been converted online but we are always connected to our partners.

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