DNB to minimise 5G rollout complexity


Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) has reaffirmed that a single wholesale network (SWN) mechanism will accelerate the national fifth generation (5G) network deployment and move up Malaysia’s position in offering commercial 5G services in ASEAN.

Chief corporate affairs officer Zuraida Jamaluddin said Malaysia is currently ranked sixth for 5G commercial services offering, lagging behind Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

“(SWN) will minimise the complexity and we become the single interoperable platform for 5G network rollout in Malaysia.

“We have planned for commercial launch by this month and to move up the rank to second place in 2024, with an aggressive timeline to achieve 80 per cent coverage by 2024, with full-fledged 5G capabilities,” she told a media briefing today.

DNB, which is wholly owned by the Minister of Finance (Incorporated), has been mandated by the government to be the single neutral party to undertake the deployment of 5G infrastructure and network nationwide.

Chief financial officer Nik Azlan Nik Abdul Aziz said the cost of coverage network equipment and infrastructure stood at RM11.5 billion and through the SWN mechanism, 85 per cent would benefit Malaysian interests.

“It would save telcos from spending on network infrastructure cost which is estimated at RM7.5 billion. DNB is entrusted to build, operate and lease 5G infrastructure and at the same time support the local telecommunication industry,” he added.

He said the mechanism would only result in RM1.7 billion in foreign outflow rather than the telcos were to build separate 5G infrastructure themselves.

Meanwhile, DNB is expected to roll out 10 per cent coverage in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur by the end of this month, with the cumulative site count of 500 sites.

This will increase to 4,018 sites or 40 per cent coverage in populated areas of Penang, Johor, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, and Perak in 2022.

DNB also aims to reach 80 per cent of the populated areas of the country by 2024 with 7,509 sites.