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DiGi and Celcom to work on network infra-sharing

BERNAMA reports that DiGi and Celcom today signed an MoU “on plans to explore long-term network and infrastructure collaboration”.

The report states that the MoU will focus on three collaborative areas (namely operations and maintenance), transmission and site sharing, and radio access network.

Basically what this means is that DiGi and Celcom are looking at opportunities in which they can share transmission towers and sites to deliver a more comprehensive network to the consumer.

Done properly, infra-sharing can yield extensive cost savings towards a service operator’s capital expenditure, which for mobile companies, can run into the billions. Here’s hoping that those savings will translate to cheaper services for us, especially data services.

Could this also lead to both parties will be doing domestic roaming in each other’s network? For DiGi, it makes perfect sense as it will boost the telco’s availability in rural areas especially in Sabah and Sarawak where they are exceptionally weak.

Though, we would like to point out that nothing is firm yet as both parties have just signed an understanding to explore the possibility of infra-sharing together.

Looking at the announcement we see DiGi being the one with a lot to gain as they have very limited 3G coverage areas. Celcom on the other hand, is the undisputed coverage king in Malaysia with close to 98% of the country covered. Though its unknown how much of that 98% is serving 3G and HSDPA, but it’s safe to say that Celcom has one of the largest 3G networks in Malaysia as well. So, we’re not sure how Celcom can leverage from this collaboration.

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At the end of the day, what remains to be seen is how will this get together benefit subscribers.