Fahmi reveals delays for Malaysia’s second 5G network despite DNB hitting 80% coverage target


Fahmi reveals delays for Malaysia’s second 5G network despite DNB hitting 80% coverage target

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Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil today said the second 5G network rollout will be delayed even though Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) has already achieved 80 per cent coverage.

He said the delay was also for the board of DNB to take shape before the rollout.

“We are waiting for the formation of the board of DNB because since the share subscription agreement was signed on December 1 last year, a discussion session was held.

“There are a few points that I discussed with the CEOs of all the telecommunication providers involved when I was in Barcelona. They have sent a letter to Treasury secretary-general Datuk Johan Mahmood Merican for consideration.

“Now I think we are waiting for a response from the treasury. This process will take some time because it involves legal aspects. So I leave this matter to a special committee co-chaired by the Communications Ministry and the chief secretary of treasury,” he said in a press conference at his ministry, here.

On December 1 last year, five major mobile network operators (MNO) signed the SSA that would see each hold a 14 per cent of stake in DNB after more than a year of tense negotiations that nearly thwarted the RM16 billion enterprise.

The agreement between DNB and the MNOs would likely help allay concerns about corporate interest taking over DNB’s mandate to make the fifth-generation high-speed internet a public utility, at least temporarily.

Transition from Single Wholesale Network to Dual Network was supposed to begin in January 2024 after DNB achieves 80% 5G population coverage

The Anwar government earlier last year agreed to the setting up of a second purely commercial entity that would help develop a second 5G network in a decision widely seen as a compromise after MNOs had threatened to boycott signing up for DNB shares.

See also  DNB trials Ericsson Multi-Band Booster to boost 5G coverage

Channel News Asia quoting sources as saying that MNOs likely agreed to the DNB share take-up because they are allowed to form the second entity, among other conditions.

Work to develop a second network via the new entity will only be allowed to begin after DNB has achieved 80 per cent coverage, Fahmi said.

On January 10, DNB’s 5G coverage nationwide hit the 80 per cent threshold.

To cover some of DNB’s cost to develop the 5G network, each MNO will inject RM230 million to meet the state entity’s funding requirements. —  Malay Mail


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