Navigating Malaysia’s Second 5G Network Endeavor: Opportunities and Challenges

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The 5G Task Force will convene amidst the growing anticipation for the launch of a second national 5G network initiative by the Malaysian government. Having reached an 80.2% connectivity coverage for the first network, the government is now ready to step up the competition within the 5G realm.

In 2021, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), a governmental vehicle, took control over the 5G market. This unconventional approach discarded the standard 5G spectrum auction, leaning towards the creation of a government-regulated 5G network operator. Existing mobile operators can avail themselves of services from DNB on a wholesale basis.

The strategic choice, however, met considerable resistance from Malaysian mobile providers whose initial stance was to refuse services from DNB. Time, along with extensive negotiations, managed to alter the initial response. As of last October, it was announced that CelcomDigi Berhad, Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd, U Mobile Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, and YTL Power International Bhd each committed to a 14% stake in DNB. A collective contribution of $50 million was decided upon for the business funding requirements, with the government retaining a 30% stake.

While striking an eighty percent 5G coverage threshold in populated regions, the government had previously revealed plans to roll out an ensuing 5G network. As per Bernama reports, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim expressed his support for this progressive move aimed at dissolving the state-backed monopoly while encouraging competition.

The next step lies in forwarding the decisions to the cabinet, which is expected to make a conclusive statement on the second network within the month. “The government will not take long to consider and make an announcement of a shift from a single to a dual 5G network coverage,” stated Fadzil, the government spokesman. He indicated that the implementation of the dual 5G will hinge upon the terms outlined by the task force.

Considering such significant progressive strides in the telecommunications realm, it is highly advisable to stay tuned into international telecom updates to keep abreast with these rapid advances.

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