Telekom Malaysia signed a three-year R&D agreement with Chinese vendor ZTE to cooperate across a range of technologies to drive innovation and digital transformation for customers.

The operator stated the companies will focus on product and technology improvement, and enhancing its digital talent.

Telekom Malaysia and ZTE will also work on “network and technology planning and overall digital transformation by bringing together” various software platforms to develop customised services for industries.

Imri Mokhtar, Telekom Malaysia CEO, said its R&D unit “will provide hardware testing”, design advice, “consultation on digital platform technologies” and integration services.

Operators are gearing up to award the equipment contracts for a second wholesale 5G network due to be deployed in early 2024,

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil stated last week the country’s mobile operators will have full say in selecting vendors, including Chinese suppliers.

A month earlier, the European Union and US warned of security risks if Huawei was involved in the 5G build.