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Fahmi: Malaysia’s second 5G network to be discussed next week

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Fahmi: Malaysia’s second 5G network to be discussed next week

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Fahmi: Malaysia’s second 5G network to be discussed next week


Discussions on the transition to a dual 5G network model are expected to happen soon as Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil has asked the 5G Task Force to convene. As reported by Bernama, Fahmi said a meeting is expected to be held next week and there will be discussions on the matter.

5G Task Force to convene next week to discuss Dual 5G Network model

During the launch of BlackBerry’s Cybersecurity Centre of Excellent (CCoE) yesterday, he told the media, “We need to convene the meeting first and appraise the current situation. We expect to have the meeting within the next week”. He added that representatives from the Finance Ministry and Digital Ministry would be present to discuss the dual network.

Fahmi elaborated that the Digital Minister, Gobind Singh, oversees the day-to-day aspects of running Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). Meanwhile, his ministry focuses on the overall landscape related to spectrum, infrastructure and towers.

During the cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in December last year, the former Communications and Digital Ministry was split into two with Fahmi helming the Communications portfolio while Gobind returns as the new Digital Minister. The telecommunications regulator, MCMC, still falls under the purview of the Communications Ministry, while DNB was placed under the Digital Ministry.

Malaysia’s second 5G network delayed despite DNB achieving 80% 5G population coverage

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

To recap, Malaysia announced a policy shift to transition from a 5G single wholesale network (SWN) model to a 5G Dual network model back in early May 2023. At the time, Fahmi said the decision to allow a second 5G network was made to avoid a single point of failure and to establish redundancy for 5G. On top of that, the move is seen as the first step to dismantle DNB’s monopoly for 5G infrastructure and to allow other players to rollout 5G using their existing infrastructure.

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The second 5G network was supposed to be established in early 2024 once DNB achieves its expedited rollout target of 80% 5G population coverage by the end of 2023. However, there haven’t been any new developments since then as DNB is still the sole entity to be awarded the 700MHz, 3.5GHz and 26/28GHz spectrum. Under the SWN model, other operators are forbidden to utilise their existing spectrum to rollout 5G and they would need to seek access from DNB to provide 5G services to their consumers. .

A few weeks ago, Fahmi said the rollout of the second 5G network was delayed due to the formation of DNB’s new board. This comes after the 5 major telcos signed their respective Share Subscription Agreements (SSAs) to collectively acquire a 70% stake in the national 5G network.

While Malaysia’s 5G network has won accolades for having one of the fastest speeds and the most consistent network, 5G adoption still lags behind other countries including Thailand and Singapore. Despite DNB claiming over 80% population coverage late last year, the national 5G network still lacks in-building coverage at popular destinations in Malaysia including The Exchange Mall at TRX.

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