Malaysia makes a big show of backing Huawei on 5G

Malaysian operator Maxis is using Huawei gear in its 5G network and for some reason the country’s Prime Minister decided to get involved in the signing ceremony.

Scott Bicheno

October 4, 2019

3 Min Read
Malaysia makes a big show of backing Huawei on 5G

Malaysian operator Maxis is using Huawei gear in its 5G network and for some reason the country’s Prime Minister decided to get involved in the signing ceremony.

They seem to love a signing ceremony over in that part of the world. Business in general apparently involves a greater degree of pomp and theatrics in certain parts of Asia than we’re accustomed to over here. The PR benefits of making a show out of signing a deal are clear: it turns it into an event that hacks can easily cover in the absence of anything more momentous.

So it came as no surprise, when Maxis decided to give Huawei a much-needed 5G win, for them to make a big song and dance about it. What was more exceptional, however, was the presence of no less than the Prime Minister of Malaysia at the inevitable ceremony. Whether they like it or not, this gives the whole thing a political dimension, with Malaysia apparently picking a team in the great US/China geopolitical arm wrestle.

“The impact of advanced technologies on our progress as a nation is inevitable and we cannot afford to be left behind, especially with Industry 4.0 already upon us,” said the PM, Yang Amat Berhormat Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad. There is no doubt that 5G will be a key driver to connecting everyone in Malaysia and transforming key industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare so that we can remain globally competitive.

“Collaboration between global players and local vendors is important to support a thriving technology ecosystem in Malaysia. I am pleased to see Maxis and Huawei taking advantage of this environment and supporting the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy.”

Maxis and Huawei are also pleased. “This is an important moment not just for Maxis, but for everyone in Malaysia as we prepare ourselves for an exciting future of next generation connectivity,” said YM Raja Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Arshad bin Raja Tun Uda, Chairman of Maxis. “Today’s signing therefore represents significant progress in our journey and commitment to accelerate 5G in Malaysia.

“We are pleased to be working with global technology leader and our long term partner, Huawei, whose experience, expertise and capabilities in 5G complement our ambitions to be Malaysia’s leading converged solutions company. We would like to thank the Government for its instrumental role in driving the 5G national agenda, and we look forward to continue working with the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia and MCMC throughout our journey.”

“Malaysia has been making tremendous progress in connecting the unconnected and embracing new ICT infrastructure development,” said Ryan Ding, CEO of Huawei’s carrier business group, who compensated for his relatively succinct name with the length of his canned quote. “With 5G technology deployment, we foresee Malaysia will go through a phase of rapid digital transformation. 5G technology is expected to accelerate the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT), which will be a part of implementation of an end-to-end solution that covers the supply chain to meet the requirements of building a smart nation.

“Our vision is aligned with the Government of Malaysia in bringing digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world. Maxis has always been at the forefront in introducing new technologies to Malaysia. It was the first to bring 4G to the market and continues to invest significantly in this area to maintain its 4G network leadership in terms of speed, performance and experience, as attested by MCMC’s 2018 Network Performance Report as well as independent studies.

“Huawei has supported the deployment of 5G by many operators globally. The company brings with them years of expertise and research in 5G, having set up a platform for operators and industry partners to incubate 5G applications together. Working together for over 10 years, Huawei has supported Maxis to become the undisputed network leader in the country.”

What more could there possibly be to add? It would be very surprising for Malaysia to side against its regional super-power China, but the PM has taken the opportunity to score some extra brownie points in Beijing with this fulsome gesture. The Balkanisation of 5G continues.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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