Celcom & Huawei Debuts World-First Smart 8T8R Large-Scale Deployment in Malaysia
PETALING JAYA, 16 JULY 2021 – Celcom Axiata Berhad (Celcom) and Huawei Technologies Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Huawei) deployed the world’s first large-scale commercial FDD Smart 8T8R network to address the rapid growth of data traffic and network congestions within prime cities. This will ensure Celcom’s 4G Network provides a seamless experience for customers during the transition towards 5G when it is launched.
This Smart 8T8R network initiative is part of Celcom’s accelerated network investments of over RM 250million, which has also resulted in a preliminary reduction of network traffic congestion in delivering consistent network service and experience since December 2020. With the pandemic and MCO rapidly accelerating digitalisation amongst Malaysians, Celcom recorded almost 70% data traffic growth with 474million GB, compared to the first quarter of 2021. Data usage per month per user also increased by 46.1% YoY with 21.8GB per month per user as compared to 14.9GB per month per user a year earlier.
The deployment of Huawei’s Smart 8T8R network technology increases Celcom’s existing 4T4R network capacity by close to 80%, reducing network traffic congestions and delivering an enhanced user experience on Celcom’s widest 4G network. Huawei’s FDD Smart 8T8R network technology maximises the potential of both existing sites and spectrum resources to significantly improve mobile capacity and user experience.
The FDD Smart 8T8R technology incorporates software-defined antennas (SDAs) and FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) dual-band RRUs (Remote Radio Units), as well as Huawei’s innovative algorithms to support on-demand upgrades such as software adjustments, resulting in maximised hardware potential to meet the rapid data growth and network capacity demands of 4G. The Smart 8T8R technology also features a PowerBoosting software whereby it supports advanced power management for base stations to achieve additional coverage gains and bring OPEX savings with a smaller expenditure on energy.
To date, Celcom has deployed several 8T8R sites in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak and Penang. The upgraded 8T8R sites will also be supporting existing 4T4R sites within rural and urban areas, easing network traffic congestions, and delivering a consistent network experience for all Celcom users. Celcom will be upgrading more 4G sites with 8T8R technology nationwide.
Afizulazha Abdullah, Chief Operating Officer (Technology) of Celcom Axiata Berhad said “Celcom has been relentless in optimising its network coverage, capacity and resiliency by accelerating investments at the most needed areas with the latest radio access network technology. We are mitigating the data traffic surge as our utmost priority by utilising Smart 8T8R technology and mitigate the network congestion to deliver an improved consistent network experience.
“Celcom’s ongoing accelerated network investments are aligned with the government’s Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) aspiration to achieve nationwide 4G coverage. We will also continue collaborating with Huawei to further innovate and implement technical breakthroughs, ensuring the best network experience for all Malaysians,” Afiz said.
Zac Chow, Vice President of Huawei Malaysia, said that as a global ICT leader, Huawei is honoured to share its resources and expertise with Celcom for this project.
The FDD Smart 8T8R Solution is in line with industry trends for multi-antenna developments, and we at Huawei are grateful for this opportunity to work with Celcom to mitigate network congestion and significantly improve user experience.”
We also believe this is an innovative solution that will help Celcom maximise its spectrum efficiency and enable a seamless experience for customers while paving the way for 5G when the time comes. This will future-proof digital advancement, empower businesses, protect investments, and set a new standard for mobile broadband (MBB) network construction.”
“This work supports Malaysia’s digital economy journey. As the country moves further into the digital era and as its digital economy grows, it is our privilege to help ensure that everyone is connected, and that no one is left behind,” Chow said.