This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on February 27, 2019
KUALA LUMPUR: Maxis Bhd yesterday inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Huawei Technologies Co, the world’s largest provider of telecommunications equipment, to accelerate the implementation of the fifth generation or 5G technology in Malaysia.
The signing of the MoU at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain is significant considering the ongoing push by the US for a ban on Huawei’s 5G network equipment. The European Commission, Canada, Britain and Germany are reportedly thinking of a potential ban, while Australia and New Zealand have already banned the Chinese company from supplying 5G infrastructure.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia had not found Huawei doing anything wrong in Malaysia, Bernama reported last week.
“Malaysia is not going to just follow what other people are doing. We have to study and find out whether there is a basis for the action that they (the US, Germany and Canada) took against this company,” Dr Mahathir said to a question from the audience after delivering the Oxford Union talk in London.
At the Barcelona congress yesterday, Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping said that his company does not do “bad things”, rejecting Washington’s claim that Huawei’s technology could enable spying from the Chinese government.
Guo was also present at the MoU signing with Maxis, along with the president of Huawei’s southern Pacific region, Jeffery Liu, and the company’s Malaysia chief executive officer (CEO) Michael Yuan. Representing Maxis were its CEO-designate, Gokhan Ogut, and chief technology officer Morten Bangsgaard.
Ogut said Maxis is pleased to be working with “world-class technology leader and long-term partner Huawei” on its 5G trials, and to be a “pioneer in bringing the latest technologies to Malaysia once again”.
The MoU stresses on cooperation between the two companies on full-fledged 5G trials with end-to-end systems and services, according to a press release issued on behalf of both companies.
Ogut was quoted as saying that Maxis has long started its 5G journey, and is already focusing on live trials, investments and evolving its network infrastructure to be ready “for a future where smart solutions will be part of everyday life”.
The 5G mobile Internet is set to bring near-instantaneous connectivity and vast data capacity, and revolutionise the digital economy by enabling futuristic technologies such as self-driving cars.
“At Maxis, we have been maintaining our network leadership in terms of speed, quality and performance in Malaysia, and we look forward to delivering the best 5G innovation for both consumers and businesses for the future,” added Ogut.
Meanwhile, Yuan was quoted as saying that the development of 5G requires the cooperation of different partners, working together to innovate together.
“We are very happy to sign this MoU with Maxis, which shows the commitment of both companies to the future of 5G in Malaysia.
“As a leading global provider of ICT infrastructure, Huawei is committed to helping Maxis to expand the boundaries of their business and find paths to new growth with our full-series, all-scenario simplified 5G products,” said Yuan.
He noted that Huawei has signed over 30 commercial contracts thus far and has shipped over 40,000 5G base stations across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.