[ UPDATE 16:00 16/03/2022 ] Malaysia decides to continue to roll out 5G via Digital Nasional Berhad using the SWN model.
Malaysia will announce its plan on whether to proceed with its 5G deployment via a Single (SWN) or Double Wholesale Network (DWN) next Wednesday. This was confirmed via a text message sent by Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa to Reuters.
It was also reported that Annuar Musa will hold a news conference to announce the decision on Wednesday. However, he declined to elaborate on the details presented to the cabinet.
The industry has been waiting for a final decision on the 5G rollout since December 2021 when Annuar Musa told the press that the government is reconsidering the single wholesale model under Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). Initially, he hoped a final decision will be made in January but it was later pushed to March. The Minister tweeted last week that his Ministry and the Ministry of Finance have submitted a cabinet memorandum and a decision is expected to be made today (11th March), but there wasn’t any announcement made.
KKMM dan MOF telah melengkapkan siri “engagement” dgn pelbagai pihak mengenai roll out 5G.Memorandum Jemaah Menteri telah di siapkan dan di serah kpd Sekretariat. Ia dijangka di bawa pada 11hb mac utk keputusan.Semua pihak di minta tidak membuat spekulasi mengenainya. pic.twitter.com/ZBjjE7eNqZ— Annuar Musa (@AnnuarMusa) March 3, 2022
To recap, Malaysia is currently rolling out 5G via Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), a single wholesale network that’s owned by the Ministry of Finance. At the moment, only YTL Communications and Telekom Malaysia have agreed to participate in DNB’s 5G user trial but only YTL’s Yes 5G is offering commercial services to consumers.
Instead of tapping onto DNB’s network to offer 5G, the big four telcos such as Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile have proposed a second 5G network formed by a consortium of telcos. They have submitted their proposal for a DWN which they claim to be a feasible option as it leverages their capabilities and existing resources including infrastructure, supply chain, and the experience of thousands of Malaysian technical talents.
At the moment, DNB’s 5G network covers selected areas of Kuala Lumpur, Cyberjaya and Putrajaya. They are currently rolling out 5G in Johor and it has also marked Penang, Selangor and Perak as their upcoming coverage locations. Under their current rollout plan, it aims to cover 40% of populated areas by the end of 2022 and 80% of population coverage by the end of 2024.
In other news, South Africa has just announced that it has abandoned its plan to launch a wholesale open-access network. This comes after their regulator, ICASA, started its spectrum auction for 700MHz, 800MHz, 2600MHz and 3500MHz bands to enhance competition in the mobile services sector, increasing broadband connectivity and coverage, as well as bridging the digital divide between urban and rural access to mobile broadband networks. In the opt-in phase of the bidding, they have raised ZAR 2,656,089,512.60 (about RM742 million) for the 700MHz, 800MHz and 2600MHz band.
- DNB has started rolling out 5G in Johor Bahru
- DAP MP asks MCMC if proposed Dual Wholesale Network for 5G would see private telcos focusing in cities while DNB is left with rural areas
- 5G Malaysia: Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile want to form a new consortium to deploy 5G
- South Africa govt scraps single wholesale network as it begins auction of 4G and 5G spectrum to telcos