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Celcom and DiGi Sign MoU for Advanced Network Collaboration

2010-06-10

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 June 2010: Celcom Axiata Bhd [formerly known as Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad] (“Celcom”) and DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (“DiGi”) today announced plans to explore long-term network and infrastructure collaboration in Malaysia. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) signed between Celcom, DiGi, and their respective major shareholders Axiata Group Berhad (“Axiata”) and Telenor Asia Pte Ltd (“Telenor”) will focus on three collaborative areas, namely operations and maintenance, transmission and site sharing, and radio access network.

The proposed active sharing model is geared towards generating significant operational and cost efficiencies for both operators by removing duplication of base station sites, addressing escalating rental fees, reducing utility bills and transmission costs, optimising deployment of base stations per area, and redeploying equipment between redundant and new sites.

The MoU is among the first such collaboration in the world with a wide and comprehensive scope. This is the first time two major network operators in Malaysia are considering extensive collaboration of network resources. A definitive agreement is expected to be reached before the end of 2010 once both parties have agreed on the long-term economic and operational viability of this collaboration.

This agreement also closely reflects an earlier accord for the sharing of network resources in Bangladesh between Axiata and Telenor Asia, through their respective operating companies Axiata (Bangladesh) Limited and Grameenphone Ltd. It signals the commitment of Axiata Group and Telenor Group to explore initiatives regarding network resources collaboration in Asia that could bring long-term significance in cost savings and environmental benefits.

The MoU was signed in the presence of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Chairman Tan Sri Khalid Ramli. Signing on behalf of their respective companies were Dato' Sri Shazalli Ramly, CEO of Celcom; Henrik Clausen, CEO of DiGi; Dato' Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, Managing Director/President and Group CEO of Axiata; and Sigve Brekke, Executive Vice President of Telenor Group and Head of Telenor Region Asia.

On the MoU, Mr. Clausen explained, “Maturing mobile markets like Malaysia can benefit from extensive network sharing as a key strategy to drive cost and operational efficiency. These efficiencies will in turn allow us to explore new and innovative ways to provide wider coverage at better costs for our customers, especially in facilitating the strong demand for data services nationwide. This is the main driver behind this collaboration, and we see clear advantages in moving forward together on a long-term, sustainable business model.”

“With trend shifting from voice-centric to data-centric, the increase of capacity requirement is happening at all points of network infrastructure. It makes more sense in the long run, and more practical, to explore other alternatives than conventional capacity leasing. This collaboration is a new milestone not only for Celcom and DiGi, it is also a brand new chapter for the local industry and the country, positioning Malaysia as one of the pioneers in network infrastructure collaboration. Ultimately, we look forward to improved quality of service and shareholder value, benefiting the service providers and the consumers,” said Dato' Sri Shazalli.

About Celcom Axiata Berhad

Celcom Axiata Berhad [formerly known as Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad] is now the country's most experienced and premier mobile cellular telecommunications company with 10.4 million customers. It currently has the widest network coverage covering 98% of the populated areas in the country. It was the first to launch 3G services in Malaysia and has the widest 2G, 3G and 3.5G coverage in the country. During the Inaugural Axiata Group Awards 2009, Celcom was recognised as the Best Market Performer and Best New Business Line for Mobile Broadband. Celcom was also awarded the Mobile Service Provider of the Year, Broadband Service Provider of the Year and the much coveted Service Provider of the Year at the 2010 Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Telecoms Awards. Celcom offers international roaming service in 156 countries and over 414 networks worldwide, and is an Axiata Company.
www.celcom.com.my

About DiGi

Established in 1995, DiGi is listed on Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad and is part of the global telecommunications provider, Telenor Group. DiGi focuses on making it easy, keeping it relevant and providing the best deals to ensure excellent customer experience in mobile and internet services. Through its corporate initiative, Deep Green, DiGi is committed to a sustainable business that is financially and ecologically responsible to all stakeholders.
www.digi.com.my

About Axiata Group

Axiata is one of the largest Asian telecommunication companies, focused on high growth low penetration emerging markets. Axiata has controlling interests in mobile operators in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh andCambodia with significant strategic stakes in India, Singapore and Iran. India and Indonesia are amongst the fastest growing markets in the world. In addition, the Malaysian-grown holding company has stakes in non-mobile telecommunication operations in Thailand and Pakistan. The Group's mobile subsidiaries and associates operate under the brand name ‘Celcom' in Malaysia, ‘XL' in Indonesia, ‘Dialog' in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi' in Bangladesh, ‘HELLO' in Cambodia, ‘Idea' in India, ‘M1' in Singapore and ‘MTCE' in Iran (Esfahan). The Group's, including its subsidiaries and associates, has over 130 million mobile subscribers in Asia. The Group revenue for 2009 was RM13.1 billion. The Group provides employment to over 25,000 people across Asia. Axiata's vision is to be a regional champion by 2015 by piecing together the best throughout the region in connectivity, technology and people, uniting them towards a single goal: Advancing Asia. Axiata was awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2009 Asia Pacific ICT Award for Best Telecom Group and most recently the Best Regional Mobile Group 2010 for its operations in multiple Asian markets by Telecom Asia.
www.axiata.com

About Telenor Group

The Telenor Group is an international provider of high quality tele, data and media communication services with mobile operations in 13 markets across the Nordic region, Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia. Headquartered in Norway, the Telenor Group is among the largest mobile operators in the world with 179 million mobile subscriptions (per Q1 2010), revenues in 2009 of NOK 107 billion, and a workforce of more than 45,000. Telenor is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (TEL).
www.telenor.com

For media enquiries, please contact:
Rohizan Ismail, for Celcom Axiata
rohizan@celcom.com.my
Joachim Rajaram, for DiGi
joachimp@digi.com.my
Faridah Hashim, for Axiata Group
faridah@axiata.com
Glenn Mandelid, for Telenor Asia
glenn.mandelid@telenor.com