PH urges govt to review 5G implementation

It was reported earlier that none of the local telcos plan to take on the govt’s 5G network due to issues concerning transparency and pricing


PAKATAN Harapan (PH) is urging the government to review its plans on the deployment of 5G in the country via a single wholesale network (SWN) which is claimed to be in a deadlock.

PKR lawmaker Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (picture) cited an exclusive report by Reuters which stated none of the local telecommunication companies (telcos) plan to take on the government’s 5G network due to issues concerning transparency and pricing.

“With this update, the government should review the SWN model via Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) for 5G rollout in the country and it should not hasten the implementation process without engagement with local telco players,” he said in a press conference at the Parliament building yesterday.

The Ledang MP said other countries have failed to implement 5G via an SWN model. The government may be able to secure a site for the infrastructure or build a tower for the network but problems may occur at the core of the service if it was not done properly.

“In the end, it would affect the quality of the service and the consumers may not be able to enjoy the optimum 5G network.

“We urge the government to look into this matter seriously and act accordingly for the benefit of the people and the country,” he added.

PH communication, digital and multimedia committee chairman Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil called for the government to terminate the monopoly of 5G by DNB.

He said the public is also at risk of bearing the loan payment for DNB if the entity fails to settle the bank loans for the issuance of sukuk that it plans to do next year which will amount to RM8 billion.

“If the government allowed the sale of the 5G spectrum, maybe local telcos could have prepared the network and we could have utilised 5G at least by year-end,” he added.

According to the report by Reuters on Wednesday, DNB confirmed that it had yet to reach an agreement with carriers ahead of its planned rollout next month.

It also acknowledged that the initial timeline for negotiations with telco by year-end was too optimistic.

On Wednesday, DNB presented and demonstrated the 5G Multi-Operator Core Network at Telekom Malaysia Titiwangsa.

During the event, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said users are not expected to pay high costs to get 5G services as the government has taken the matter into account before the rollout.

He said through DNB, the government had set that the cost for the facility should not burden consumers.