Operator Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and kit vendor ZTE have entered into a new partnership to build out a hybrid cloud 5G core network in the region.
It’s a three year strategic partnership and the hybrid cloud aspect is part of a plan to ‘foster innovation and advancement of state-of-the-art technologies’ for TM’s 5G Core project, which includes bare metal containers, SDN-based architecture, hardware acceleration, CUPS, and 3-layer decoupling.
As well as generally improving network bandwidth and speed in Malaysia, it’s also pitched as a means to which TM can provide new connectivity services to healthcare, finance, transportation, and education, develop smart city and IoT applications, and it is ‘anticipated to revolutionize Malaysia’s telecommunications industry.’
“TM is pleased to partner ZTE in building a hybrid cloud 5G core network that is designed to meet the rising needs for future technologies,” said Jasmine Lee Sze Inn, TM’s Executive Vice President for Mobile. “This strategic partnership will transform 5G-enabled networks to deliver innovative solutions and services through our state-of-the-art network and infrastructure, and enable seamless connectivity and exceptional network performance.”
Steven Ge, ZTE Malaysia’s Chief Executive Officer added: “We’re excited to strengthen our partnership with TM through the development of a hybrid cloud 5G core network. This will accelerate the launch of 5G network across Malaysia, which will bring forth new innovation into the market. As a global leading provider of information and communication technology solutions, we are confident that the advancement of our hybrid cloud 5G core network will be the model for future networks. ZTE is committed in this collaboration that will put Malaysia as one of the leading countries in the region to roll-out its 5G network.”
It’s broadly the same pitch as was delivered in places where the 5G rollout is more advanced, such as the US and Western Europe. While we don’t appear to be much closer to the utopian vision of smart cities over here, there has been some progress in private 5G networks in enterprise and industry settings – though much the emphasis now is on things like 5G SA and mmWave to bring the initial promises over the line.
East Asian tie ups – or deals anywhere else other than the West – may be increasingly important for ZTE following the US led bans on it and fellow Chinese firm Huawei, which don’t appear to be cooling down. There are now reports that Germany, which had at one point seemed to be going against the grain when it comes to the bans, may be looking to kick the firms out of the country as well.
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