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CelcomDigi almost halfway done with network integration project

Malaysian telco CelcomDigi says it’s close to the halfway mark in integrating and modernising its mobile network across the country, which puts it ahead of schedule in its post-merger transformation plan.

CelcomDigi said that it has completed 44% of its nationwide network integration and modernisation programme, which officially commenced in June 2023, around seven months after the merger between Celcom Axiata and Digi Telecommunications was approved by the boards of both companies in November 2022.

The telco said it has modernised over 7,200 sites as at end April 2024, which it says has boosted download speeds for customers in those areas by between 20% to 26%, and improved signal strength by between 13% to 16%.

CelcomDigi reckons that it will pass the 50% mark in four states by the end of June, and 60% in three states, to include completion of the programme in Penang. The initiative is scheduled for nationwide completion in 2026.

The telco also reported that its 4G LTE and 4G LTE-Advanced network footprint stands at 96.8% and 92.1% nationwide respectively, while 86% of its end-state sites are now 5G-ready. CelcomDigi said it is also transforming its 5G core network to support 5G-Advanced functionality and services.

CelcomDigi has committed RM4 billion (US$846 million) in capex to the project with the goal of establishing 18,000 5G-ready sites and turning the operator into a “digital growth engine” for Malaysia, said CelcomDigi CEO Datuk Idham Nawawi in a statement.

“This new network is designed to potentially transition seamlessly into a new 5G network with an 18,000-site reach – the right infrastructure to usher Malaysia into the era of ultra-high speeds, low latency, and the opportunities of a more connected future,” he said. “We are working with strategic partners to trial 5.5G technologies and new use cases for enhanced digital experiences for Malaysian enterprises and consumers.”