Celcom CEO Idham Nawawi KUALA LUMPUR: Celcom Axiata Bhd has earmarked RM1 billion for its 2021 capital expenditure (capex) to improve its network capacity nationwide. Speaking to reporters during the virtual media briefing on Celcom's fourth quarter of 2020’s (Q4 2020) results today, chief executive officer Idham Nawawi said the investments are to support the aspirations of the National Digital Infrastructure Plan (Jendela). He added that the telecommunications (telco) giant would focus on enhancing the Fourth Generation (4G) network LTE pop coverage to 95.6 per cent, delivering a consistent high-definition video experience, improving indoor coverage and offering seamless Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) experience. "Celcom will continue to invest in deploying the latest end-to-end technology, such as the 4T4R multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO), carrier aggregation, 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) and many more," he said. 4T4R is a transmit and receive mode for base stations, with four transmit and four receive antennas. As for the 5G network, he said Celcom is ready to share its expertise, having had 33 years of experience in network management. He said the telco is waiting for more information on the deployment of the 5G network by the Government of Malaysia Special Purpose Vehicle (GOMSPV). The government plans to launch the 5G network before year-end. On Celcom’s Q4 2020 performance, Idham said the telco recorded a positive growth overall, with quarter-on-quarter improvements in terms of subscribers, revenue, cost, profitability and market share. Revenue rose by 2.7 per cent to RM1.62 billion in Q4 2020 from RM1.58 billion in Q3 2020, though lower compared to the RM1.72 billion recorded in Q4 2019. For financial year 2020 (FY20), its revenue declined to RM6.23 billion from RM6.71 billion in FY19. The telco also saw a strong market momentum in the second half of 2020 (2H20), with an additional 306,000 subscribers compared to 2H19. To-date, Celcom’s network remains as the nation’s widest, with over 11,500 sites nationwide, serving over 13 million users. - Bernama
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