Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) has announced that Telekom Malaysia (TM) and YTL Communications (YTL) are their first two customers to access their 5G network. The state-owned 5G provider has made its network available at certain parts of Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur starting today and are offering free 5G access to mobile network operators until the 31st of March 2022.
According to DNB, today marks Malaysia’s first steps towards a 5G future. It aims to accelerate 5G deployment to cover 80% of the population with 5G coverage by 2024.
DNB CEO Ralph Marshall said “We are pleased to welcome both TM and YTL Communications as our very first customers of the 5G network in Malaysia. TM is the country’s oldest telecommunications provider, having introduced telecommunications services nearly 40 years ago in 1984, while YTL Communications is the youngest and only all-4G network provider in Malaysia.”
He added both telcos combined have almost 4.5 million subscribers and an average monthly data demand of 40 to 50GB per subscriber.
YTL Communications via Yes has declared that it is the first to offer 5G services in Malaysia. Customers with selected plans and 5G compatible devices will get free access to 5G data until 31st March 2022.
Telcos that sign up for the commercial wholesale agreement will gain additional 5G capacity as more sites go live up to 31st March 2022. According to DNB, end-users with 5G-compatible devices will be able to enjoy an average speed of 100Mbps at the weakest point of coverage. It currently has a 40MHz block of the 700MHz spectrum, a 200MHz block of the 3.5GHz spectrum, and a 1600MHz block of the 26/28GHz (mmWave) spectrum.
Despite criticism on the single wholesale model approach for 5G, DNB is confident that it will be able to enable mobile network operators to offer 5G services at a lower cost than their present cost to produce 4G capacity.
With the announcement, customers on selected plans on Unifi Mobile and Yes will soon be able to access 5G data on DNB’s 5G network. At the time of writing, the big four telcos including Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile have yet to announce participation in the 5G user trial.
Reuters have reported yesterday that the big four mobile operators are proposing to the government to create two wholesale 5G networks formed by a consortium. It is said that this will speed up deployment and provide Malaysia the security of dual competing network.
The Malaysian government is currently reconsidering the single wholesale model for 5G and are expected to make a decision by January 2022. This opens up the opportunity for an alternative 5G rollout for telcos.
- DNB’s 5G network doesn’t support the iPhone and Galaxy S20 series yet, here’s the full list of compatible 5G devices
- Here are DNB’s 5G coverage areas
- Report: Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile want another 5G network formed by a consortium
- YTL says it will be the first telco to launch 5G services with Digital Nasional Berhad