On 29 July Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson opened its state of the art regional hub in Cyberjaya, along Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), in presence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Ericsson has invested some RM80 million to establish the facility named [email protected] which houses a showcase of ‘live’ networks showing the evolution of mobile telecommunications standards from GSM to 3rd Generation (3G) technologies.
The design is contemporary over an area close to 9,000 square metres of office space. It is furthermore the new headquarters of Ericsson Malaysia and hosts around 500 employees. More than half of them support the company’s operations across the Asia-Pacific region.
[email protected] claims to be the first such establishment in Asia to house all the four commercially operational systems (GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA) with locally-developed applications under one roof, all live networks ready to be deployed.
“Our decision to set up this technological showcase was made three years ago, when it was announced that Malaysia had chosen to follow one of the two main evolutionary paths towards 3G. What this meant was that mobile network operators here were given the choice to implement either GPRS, EDGE or WCDMA technologies, or all of these,” says Ericsson Malaysia’s President & Country Manager, Mr Mats H Olsson. “Given this scenario and the expectation that other customers in this region would also rapidly mobilise its resources to take a competitive position with regard to the deployment of these technologies it was a natural choice.”
The Asia-Pacific region has great long-term growth potential. Its current mobile subscriber base is 385 million against a population of 3.5 billion. That is a penetration rate of only 11 per cent.
“As a regional expertise centre, [email protected] plays a vital role in ensuring that we not only have the technologies here, but also the 3G experts that provide relevant support to our customers. This will also ensure continuous transfer of knowledge to engineers in the region as technology evolves,” adds Mats H Olsson. “From a service perspective, 3G will add two things. First, mobile services will be delivered with better performance and greater cost-effectiveness. Second, 3G will go on to facilitate new services with more comprehensive content. For instance, mobile multimedia messages will become more common as an enhancement to traditional text-based ones. To the user, 3G will mean new mobile devices capable of accessing a huge range of new services, ranging from basic telephony to high-speed Mobile Internet – voice, data, audio and video – services.”
The Swedish supplier set up operations in Malaysia 1965 and all the mobile network service providers in the country are currently Ericsson customers.
“The establishment of [email protected] clearly reflects our confidence and support to the MSC and extends our commitment to the country into the future,” concludes Mats H Olsson.
Ericsson facilitates Dr Mahathir’s first 3G call
Celebrating the opening of [email protected], the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on 29 July made the country’s first international voice and data call running on two 3G mobile systems (EDGE to WCDMA).
The call, which was made from an EDGE system located in [email protected], connected the Prime Minister to Ericsson’s Malaysian employees based in Sweden. The employees received the call over the 3™ WCDMA network operated by Hi3G, which is among the nine commercial WDMA networks in the world. They also sent a photograph with a personal message to the Prime Minister over the same connection.
According to LM Ericsson’s Executive Vice President and President of Asia Pacific, Ragnar Back, the call heralds a new age in the telecommunications industry of Malaysia.
“We are now at a very exciting stage in the history of telecommunications, where users have the option to use a mobile telephone device to transfer and read multimedia files, order food, purchase train tickets, send e-mails, watch videos, or even monitor the security of their home. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, as thousands of Mobile Internet application developers all around the world are churning out new content for this device every day,” says Ragnar Back.
MSC Fact Box
The Multimedia Super Corridor, MSC, is Malaysia’s foremost ICT initiative to attract multimedia industries from all over the world. MSC is a corridor measuring 15 km wide and 50 long, stretching from Petronas Twin Towers in KL to Kuala Lumpur International Airport in the south. Companies that achieve MSC status receive numerous privileges. Visit http://www.mdc.com.my for more information about the MSC.