Malaysia moves closer to launch second 5G network: Report – RCR Wireless News

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The government had said last year that Malaysia would shift to a dual 5G network

Malaysian operators involved in the implementation of the dual-network 5G model in the country are set to sign an agreement to take up equities in state-run 5G network Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), local press reported, citing the country’s Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

“The telcos must complete the share subscription agreements for DNB equity by June 21, and generally they are ready to sign it,” the minister said, adding that he is optimistic that after that date, the formal process of forming the second network in Malaysia can begin. He previously noted that the operators need to complete these agreements before they are allowed to bid for the deployment of the second 5G network.

The reports stated that the Communications Ministry, Digital Ministry, Finance Ministry and Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry recently held discussions to define strategies and action plans for the implementation of the second 5G network in the Asian nation.

Previously, the telecommunications companies involved in this scheme were given 20 days to finalize the share subscription agreements with DNB.

In May 2023, Malaysian authorities had said that the country would shift to a dual 5G network once DNB achieved 80% coverage in populated areas, something that occurred in December 2023. That month, Malaysia’s five major mobile operators signed share subscription agreements to acquire a collective 70% equity stake in DNB.

At the time, Fadzil said the decision to allow a second 5G network in the country was made with the aim of avoiding a single point of failure and to establish redundancy for 5G services.

Under the terms of the agreement, local carriers CelcomDigi, Maxis, U Mobile, Telekom Malaysia and YTL Power International agreed to each buy a 14% stake in DNB, with an investment of about $50 million each.

As of the end of April, DNB’s 5G network had reached 81.5% of the total populated areas and the adoption rate was 39.2%. The country reached a total of 13.2 million 5G subscriptions nationwide as of the end of April. Of the total number of 5G subscriptions, there are 12.7 million individual users and 422,609 enterprises.

DNB was set up by the Malaysian government in 2021 as a special purpose vehicle to develop the country’s 5G network infrastructure, which private telecommunications firms are currently using to offer 5G services to their customers. DNB’s 5G network was deployed by Ericsson.

The government said the second 5G network will chiefly focus on additional aspects such as the implementation of 5G technology across different vertical sectors.

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