Malaysia-based telecom operator Axiata has announced that it will select two vendors to supply equipment to help roll out 5G network in the country.
Huawei, one of the leading 5G equipment suppliers in the world, is already a listed vendor for Axiata.
This decision by Axiata will open doors for other suppliers such as Ericsson or Nokia to compete with Huawei in Asian markets.
Axiata, which is the third-biggest telecom company in Malaysia in terms of subscribers, is planning to spend around $1 billion over the next five years to roll out 5G in the country.
“Generally we like to have two vendors, and in Malaysia, generally it would be these two,” Axiata chief executive officer Jamaludin Ibrahim told the media last week.
He further revealed that vendors such as Finland’s Nokia and China’s ZTE would also be invited to participate in a tender that would eventually decide the two suppliers.
“You can’t be very sure, but what assurance we have been getting from Huawei, we are confident. We have (also) been assured many times that despite all the relationship with some countries they will survive and they will be able to supply us, there will be continuity,” Ibrahim added.
Reportedly, Axiata could also join hands with its rival in Malaysia to deploy 5G in order to save costs.
According to reports in the media, Axiata is in talks to buy a smaller rival in Indonesia in a share-swap deal to cut costs and competition in its biggest market. The deal comes at a time when the coronavirus has severely impacted businesses.