[ UPDATE 14/12/2021 15:55 ] Is Yes offering unlimited 5G data from RM30/month? More details here.
Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) will be having an event tomorrow morning on the 15th of December to mark the commercial availability of its 5G services in Malaysia. Meanwhile, YTL Communications is having a Yes 5G showcase after DNB’s event to demonstrate the convergence of connectivity, intelligent edge, and Internet of Things technology at the same venue.
According to the media invite, YTL Communications said it’s set to be the first major telco to launch 5G services, in conjunction with Digital Nasional Berhad’s rollout of 5G services. This is quite a bold statement as TM has recently confirmed it will be participating in a 5G user trial with DNB for its Unifi Mobile postpaid customers. Prior to this, none of the mobile network operators (MNO) have committed to signing a commercial wholesale deal with DNB pending finalisation of the Reference Access Offer (RAO). It isn’t clear if YTL Communications has committed to a wholesale agreement or they are merely signing up to be the first to offer 5G services under a user trial.
YTL currently operates a 100% 4G LTE network with Voice over LTE. Unlike other telcos, they do not have legacy 2G or 3G networks as they have made the switch from WiMAX to LTE in 2016. While the coverage isn’t as wide as other established telcos, it offers one of the most value-for-money mobile plans from as little as RM15/month for 10GB of data on prepaid or RM49/month for 100GB data on postpaid.
As announced by DNB last week, their network is ready to offer 5G services and they will offer free wholesale access to telcos until the 31st March 2022. The free access is applicable to all 5G live sites that will be available in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, and select areas of Kuala Lumpur by 31st December 2021. However, telcos that enter the wholesale agreement before 31st March 2022 will receive further free access to all additional 5G capacity as more sites go live in the period up to 31st March 2022.
DNB promises that its network can deliver a minimum of 100Mbps at the weakest point of coverage. By the end of this year, it will have 500 sites ready to cover 10% of the population and it aims to have 4,018 sites next year covering more states including Penang, Johor, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, and Perak.
However, the wholesale model by DNB is currently being reconsidered by the government and there’s a possibility that other telcos may be permitted to roll out their own 5G network. A decision is expected to be made by January 2022 after both Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the Finance Ministry submitted a joint paper to the cabinet. GSMA has recently released a report highlighting the implication of the single wholesale network to Malaysia’s digital competitiveness. The report said that the state-owned single-network approach is a monopoly and believes a voluntary network sharing agreement provides a viable alternative.
- GSMA: Single wholesale model for 5G will threaten Malaysia’s digital competitiveness
- DNB: Telcos can provide 5G access for free until 31 March 2022
- TM: Unifi Mobile customers will soon experience 5G services under DNB’s pilot trial
- DNB aims to seal 5G agreement with telcos by end-March 2022 but users can “experience” 5G this month