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XOX wants to secure partnership with a Chinese telco for 5G deployment via VC firm

Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) XOX has signed a Heads of Agreement with Shanghai-based Venture Capital & Advisory firm, Sulian Capital, to partner with an undisclosed Chinese telco to explore 5G mobile network deployment in the region.

According to XOX, the partnership comes at the right time as the Malaysian government intends to allocate 5G spectrum soon and priority will be given to telcos with existing subscribers. XOX claims to have 2.2 million subscribers and it is in a unique position to be looped into the ring of contenders.

Details of the partnership remain scarce and it isn’t clear how XOX plans to deploy 5G. The MVNO doesn’t operate its own mobile infrastructure and it relies on Celcom to provide mobile services in Malaysia. In addition, XOX has not received spectrum from the MCMC and it isn’t a participant in the 5G Demonstrations Project.

The press statement states that Jiangsu Capital and XOX Media Sdn Bhd have inked an agreement which will give Sulian Capital a 10% free carry on profitability from any eventual partnership signed with the undisclosed Chinese telco. It added that the non-circumvention agreement is meant to secure the introducing party’s interest in the 5G project so that more concrete discussions can take place.

The identity of the Chinese telco remains unidentified but it claims to be one of the top 3 players namely China Mobile, China Telecom or China Unicom. NST has reported recently that XOX has been approached by a Chinese telco to build a 5G network in Malaysia with an investment up to RM10 billion.

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Alexander Wong