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 RM250million, 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.