Celcom and Maxis successfully conduct first 5G MOCN trial in Southeast Asia

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15): Celcom Axiata Bhd (Celcom) and Maxis Bhd (Maxis) have succesfully conducted the first 5G Multi Operator Core Network (MOCN) trial in Southeast Asia, recording a peak speed exceeding 1.1gbps in outdoor environments.

The trial was held last December in Langkawi, after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked between Celcom and Maxis the previous month, to explore Malaysia’s first active 5G Radio Active Network (RAN) sharing, said the telcos in a joint statement today.

The trial locations were a Maxis 5G site at Seaview Hotel in Kuah and a Celcom 5G site at The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa.

It allowed users of each telco at both locations to access the 5G network hosted by the two companies, as if they are on their home network.

MOCN is a RAN-sharing mechanism that allows two different core networks to share the same RAN.

By using MOCN, the telcos are able to quickly extend their 5G coverage in Langkawi by leveraging on each other’s existing 5G sites, therefore demonstrating the feasibility of 5G infrastructure-sharing to accelerate 5G, when the spectrum is allocated for commercial usage.

Celcom and Maxis plan to conduct further active RAN Sharing trials using 5G Standalone (5G SA) network by Q1 2020.

According to them, this achievement reflects both telcos' commitment to realize a seamless sharing experience on an active 5G infrastructure.

Celcom’s chief executive officer Idham Nawawi said the successful trial in its initial stage, demonstrates the viability of a more cost efficient and coordinated 5G deployment in Malaysia.

“Aligned with MCMC’s [Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission] spectrum announcement for 5G, we are adamant to collaborate for the best practices to build the best 5G network at the lowest cost possible and prevent duplication of infrastructure, while improvements on 4G networks are ongoing, benefiting consumers and businesses with more value for the best 5G quality.

“Collaboration and innovation between businesses with 5G technology is a key success factor for the development of the nation’s digital ecosystem in the IR4.0 era.”

Meanwhile, Maxis’ CEO Gokhan Ogut said the telco is stepping up its efforts to pursue an accelerated 5G deployment plan.

“We look forward to reaping the benefits of network-sharing and hence, allowing more investment in services for customers. 5G will play a key role in providing the technology platform for businesses to be more efficient and innovative, thus helping to build a more competitive digital economy”.