5G development

Why Asian telcos are rushing to merge their businesses

Asia’s telecommunications service providers are in a race to merge to gain scale and prepare for 5G, the next-generation communications technology that is expected to create massive new business opportunities.

A wave of consolidation has swept across Asia’s telecommunications industry in the last 18 months as telcos look to scale up in order to improve their services and edge out competitors.

Malaysia’s Axiata Group is the latest to join this merger race, announcing earlier this month that it is in talks to combine its business with Telenor’s South Asian and Southeast Asian operations.

The merger deal will not only bring together Malaysia’s largest and third-largest mobile operator but also create an industry behemoth covering nine markets including Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

That was a month after India’s telecom regulator gave Bharti Airtel the...

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