The digital economy is now one of the key drivers of economic growth, and ICT is playing an increasingly important role in the build-out of digital infrastructure. Many different industries are now perceiving the opportunities – and challenges – of digital transformation. Huawei is a leading global provider of ICT solutions. Alongside our Malaysian partners, we have long been committed to boosting the quality of telecom services in Malaysia, encouraging the development of local telecom infrastructure, and helping Malaysia through its digital transformation. In the 2017 Global Connectivity Index, Malaysia advanced five places up the global rankings to number 24. It was one of the fastest improvers in ICT infrastructure, and this has helped cement the role of digital as a powerful driver of the Malaysian economy. More and more Malaysians are now enjoying the benefits of high quality telecom services.
"At first it didn't strike me as strange to have an Internet connection, until a friend asked me, 'Didn't you go mountaineering? How come you're online?' Then I realized how extraordinary it is to get a signal at 3000 meters above sea level."
– Nick, climbing enthusiast from Chicago
Mt. Kinabalu is sacred to many Malaysians. At 4095m, it is the country's highest peak, and it is enormously popular with mountain climbers around the world. Every year around 30,000 international visitors come here.
Today, a key part of climbing the mountain is sharing the experience of making the peak. Climbers who tackle Kinabalu are thrilled to discover that their phones can still get a signal all the way up to the peak. They rush to contact their friends and family, share the moment, and let everyone know that they are safe.
At the 3,272m base camp, Malaysia's highest mobile phone tower enables climbers to report in to their families, and to use wireless Internet to make video calls, share the sights along the trek, and their joy on reaching the summit.
This is a Huawei network. There is no cable car or road up Kinabalu, so all the equipment had to be carried on foot from the base of the mountain up to the 3,200m camp. During installation, set up, and maintenance, Huawei engineers had to battle altitude sickness and deliver high-precision technical services in the most difficult of conditions.
Every link in the network is a testament to Huawei's dedication and customer centricity. As one Huawei engineer put it: "Every year, this cell tower transmits 470,000 phone calls and 130,000 gigabits of data. Every second of those calls, every bit of data, carries a family's love for a climber, or someone who works up here. That's the value that we bring to our customers."
Huawei first began operations in Malaysia in 2001, and has worked with telecom carriers and partners to grow Malaysia's communications networks. Huawei has partnered with many of Malaysia's major carriers: Telekom Malaysia, Maxis, Celcom. The products and solutions we provide now service over 80% of Malaysian people. And in terms of infrastructure, Huawei is a major contributor to the national high speed broadband project and to the country's 4G networks.
Huawei has over 150 local partners, and over 95% of procurement for construction projects and basic services is carried out locally. Indirectly, we support over 10,000 jobs. Directly, we employ 2,500 people in Malaysia, of which nearly 70% are Malaysian nationals.
Today, from the packed streets of Kuala Lumpur to the otherworldly beauty of Mantanani Island, residents and tourists alike can enjoy high-speed access to 4G mobile networks. From isolated villages to the highest peaks of Kinabalu, direct contact with the outside world has gone from being a distant dream to a vital reality.
This is the spirit which has guided Huawei through our 16 years in Malaysia. We have brought focus and grit, perseverance and breakthroughs both to our own business and to Malaysia's communications infrastructure, economy, workforce skills, and job opportunities. We are helping Malaysia accelerate its digital transformation and grow into a leading digital economy.