Telekom Malaysia inked a three-year partnership with ZTE’s local unit to form a hybrid cloud 5G core network, a move designed to boost the country’s digital infrastructure and address rising demands for next-generation technologies.

In an announcement, the Chinese vendor claimed the collaboration will advance 5G in Malaysia, tipping the hybrid cloud 5G core network to revolutionise the country’s telecoms industry.

Among the benefits, ZTE said the network will support a range of technologies from Telekom Malaysia, including SDN-based architecture and hardware acceleration, along with enabling it to employ bare metal containers.

The operator will also be able to “strengthen” capabilities in providing connectivity services to a wide range of industries, smart city projects and the IoT.

Finally, a hybrid cloud 5G network will “transform and revolutionise” the way data will be processed and transmitted.

ZTE also believes the development of the network “will address the rising need for network bandwidth and speed”, as 5G adoption in Malaysia accelerates.

Telkom Malaysia’s EVP for mobile Jasmine Lee Sze Inn said the collaboration would accelerate 5G adoption and “drive both industry and the nation’s digital agenda forward”.

Malaysia’s 5G market has seen significant development since a controversial plan to deploy a single wholesale network went live in 2022.

Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), the company managing the network, stated at the start of the year it had hit coverage of nearly 50 per cent of populated areas, with five of the nation’s operators having launched services by the end of 2022.

The wholesale network operator is working with Ericsson on the rollout and is targeting 80 per cent coverage by 2024.