News, views and contacts from the global telecommunications industry

Celcom Berhad -, Malaysia

Key Data

Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad is a subsidiary of one of the major players in the Malaysian mobile telecommunications market, Telkom Malaysia. It already has one of the most successful 3G networks in Malaysia with over 7 million subscribers and 2 million 3G subscribers. Celcom currently has the most comprehensive network coverage, covering 96% of the populated areas in the country. It was the first to launch the 3G service in Malaysia and has the widest GPRS and 3G coverage in the country. The company offers international roaming services in more than 119 countries over 299 networks worldwide.


In July 2006 Celcom contracted Huawei to deploy an HSDPA network in the State of Kedah. This supported the 11th Sukan Malaysian National Sports event (SUKMA), which was conducted from 13 different sports arenas. The purpose of the roll-out was to allow 100,000 UMTS subscribers to watch a live broadcast of the events on their 3G mobile phone screens.

Huawei implemented and deployed the HSDPA network across the major cities of Kedah state, including Langkawi Island, in just seven days. Huawei already has an ongoing contract with Celcom to deploy 3G network equipment, awarded in the fourth quarter of 2004. Huawei has already deployed new generation node Bs along with their base stations (UTRANS) across many major cities in Malaysia, including Johor, Melaka, Penang and Kedah.


Celcom has also launched HSDPA services in other areas of Malaysia using a Nokia HSDPA technology solution. From June 2006 Celcom will be able to operate its network more cost-efficiently and offer customers data services at speeds of up to 3.6Mbps. The operator is launching three new 3G services, namely, ‘Xpax Legenda Tan Sri P. Ramlee’, ‘Marvel Mobile’ and ‘Disney’.

As well as supplying equipment for Celcom’s expanded radio network, Nokia is also supplying the core network equipment to expand Celcom’s current 3G network to four new regions. This will effectively achieve nationwide coverage for the operator. Under the terms of the agreement, Nokia is supplying the Nokia HSDPA solution with 3.6 Mbps capability, a radio access network and transmission from its radio network portfolio.

From its Unified Core Networks portfolio, Nokia is providing its MSC Server mobile softswitch, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Flexi Intelligent Service Node (ISN). The network equipment deliveries will be supported by a wide range of services, including systems integration, network planning, deployment, project management and care services, and managed availability service for first-line maintenance. The deliveries are ongoing. The network will be supported by the Nokia NetAct network and service management system.


In June 2006 Alcatel announced that Telekom Malaysia (TM) had chosen them as the prime supplier of Celcom Berhad, for its 3G/UMTS wireless network. The €70m contract will provide customers across the Malaysian peninsula, as well as Sabah and Sarawak islands, with an array of innovative high-bandwidth services for multimedia mobile communications.

Under the agreement, Alcatel will deliver 3G/UMTS radio access network infrastructure and high-performance digital microwave links to carry the traffic of enhanced mobile data services, enabling Celcom to complete the next phase of its national 3G deployment program. Alcatel’s broadband wireless access solutions will be based on the Evolium platform, which will give Celcom high throughput on the move, low latency, end-to-end QoS, affordability, efficient backhauling and maximum site reuse.

Also, because of its built-in software modularity, the Alcatel Evolium radio access solution will allow a simplified software activation of HSDPA, and reuse of the Alcatel hardware equipment already deployed in the 3G/UMTS network. The Alcatel 9400 AWY family is a new generation of digital PDH, low and medium capacity, point-to-point microwave link. These have been selected alongside the Alcatel 7670 Edge Services Extender (ESE) and 5620 Network Manager (NM). They will provide high density aggregation and switching of 3G ATM circuits for the Evolium radio access solution, further reducing cost.


To provide greater reach and enhance its network coverage nationwide, Celcom awarded a contract to Ericsson to expand, modernise and upgrade its GSM network. Covering the northern, eastern and central regions of the Malaysian peninsula, the project will be implemented over 12 months, having begun in July 2006. Ericsson is to provide a range of telecommunication equipment and services, including deployment and integration of radio access network equipment, as well as switching capacity and software upgrades.

The contract also includes the Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution (MSS) comprising an MSC-server, media gateway, mobile packet backbone network (MPBN) and operations support system (OSS). Celcom with be provided with significant savings through an efficient and flexible layered-architecture design. The Ericsson Mobile Softswitch is a significant first step for Celcom towards evolving into an all-IP network.

By complementing mobile softswitch and IP infrastructure with a standardised service environment, Celcom will be able to offer a wide range of new and differentiating multimedia services to its customers. The first Ericsson MSS switch is scheduled to carry live traffic by the end of September.

Ericsson will also provide its Ericsson Telephony Softswitch solution, which entails the deployment of a new international switching center (ISC) and multi network-operations support system (MN-OSS) to upgrade Celcom’s existing switches. This particular solution will provide Celcom with a scalable and flexible platform to cater for the growing volume of international voice and data traffic.


In June 2006 Celcom and NSS MSC Sdn Bhd launched a new product called ‘SecretSMS.’ This is simple software that encrypts SMS messages, thereby offering security and privacy. SecretSMS is derived from a backbone technology called XMS (Xecure Message Service) that was developed by NSS.

Text messages that are stored in phones are readily accessible. Anyone may have access to the phone if it is left unattended. SecretSMS transmits and stores sensitive messages that are accessible with a password known only to the mobile owners.

SecretSMS is powered by 128-bit encryption that encrypts incoming and outgoing SMS’s in the transmission process. To read the encrypted messages, users have to key in the valid password. Hence, mobile users have complete control over their privacy in the SMS communications.