Fahmi Fadzil says govt’s plans to set up second 5G network next year still not set in stone yet


Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil speaks during a community contribution programme and breaking fast at PPR Sri Pantai in Kuala Lumpur April 16, 2023. — Malay Mail photo

KUALA LUMPUR (April 16): Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said today, nothing has been set in stone yet over the recent disclosure of the federal government’s proposed policy to introduce a second 5G network to promote competition from next year onwards.

Fahmi was earlier asked to respond to a Reuters report of the federal government’s plans to introduce a second 5G network from January 2024 to challenge Digital Nasional Berhad’s lock on the market.

“Right now we are still in the process of review. We are in discussions with all the related and relevant parties.

“We have not come to a decision yet, so we have to wait for the announcement when it happens,” he told reporters during an Iftar and community giveaway ceremony held at Seri Pantai People’s Housing Project (PPR) here.

In the report, the proposal to introduce a second 5G network from January 2024 is aimed at challenging DNB’s monopoly on the market.

Earlier in his speech, Fahmi said a proposal on the plan is expected to be submitted to the weekly Cabinet meeting when it convenes on Wednesday.

DNB is the holder of Malaysia’s 5G spectrum. It has been tasked to develop Malaysia’s 5G infrastructure and lease it out to the telecommunications companies under the single wholesale network (SWN) model. It is set to achieve 80 per cent coverage by end-2023, from 50 per cent at end-2022.

The company is 35 per cent-owned by the government, while the remaining 65 per cent is split between Celcom Axiata Bhd (12.5 per cent), Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (12.5 per cent), YTL Communications Sdn Bhd (20 per cent), and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (20 per cent).

DNB was established in early March 2021 to accelerate the deployment of 5G infrastructure and network in Malaysia. It will offer 5G as a wholesale network service to other telcos.

Putrajaya, under former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration, has been in constant negotiations with telcos in the country over the rollout of 5G, with telcos constantly pushing back for more favourable terms – advocating for a dual wholesale network (DWN) model instead of the government’s single wholesale network (SWN) – which they claim would provide better optimising availability and pricing of 5G. — Malay Mail