by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by BLOOMBERG
TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM), on behalf of Unifi Mobile, and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd, on behalf of Yes, are the first two operators in the country to provide 5G access to their respective customers within the coverage areas.
In an event marking Malaysia’s 5G availability yesterday, Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) CEO Ralph Marshall welcomed TM and YTL Communications onto the DNB network.
He noted that Malaysia is now 5G ready and this marks the country’s first steps towards a 5G future, with the latest telecommunications standard now available in certain areas throughout Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur.
Soon, he said, most of Malaysia will have access to 5G coverage as DNB is committed to an accelerated schedule to roll out 5G coverage to 80% of the population by 2024.
“We are pleased to welcome both TM and YTL Communications as our very first customers of the 5G network in Malaysia.
“TM is the country’s oldest telecommunications provider, having introduced telecommunications services nearly 40 years ago in 1984, while YTL Communications is the youngest and only all-4G network provider in Malaysia.
“Together, they have almost 4.5 million subscribers and an average monthly data demand of 40GB to 50GB per subscriber,” said Marshall during the announcement of the commercial availability of 5G services in Malaysia yesterday.
TM and YTL Communications are the first two companies to take advantage of DNB’s offer of free wholesale 5G services to all mobile network operators (MNOs) that are integrated into the DNB network.
According to DNB, end users with 5G-compatible devices will be able to enjoy an average speed of 100 Mbps and this means a user at the weakest point of 5G coverage would on average receive 100 Mbps on a 5G-compatible device.
The state-owned 5G provider also noted that those MNOs that enter into the wholesale agreement before March 31, 2022, will receive access to all available capacity as sites go live in the period up to March 31, 2022.
“Crucially, DNB will provide wholesale 5G services to the MNOs at a significantly lower cost than their present cost to produce 4G capacity.
“MNOs should therefore be able to offer lower prices to their customers for mobile services, which will include 5G services.
“It is hoped that MNOs will make available 5G services to their customers with compatible devices within the coverage areas,” Marshall added.
According to him, as a provider of wholesale 5G services, DNB will not be competing with the industry in providing 5G retail services to end users.
He emphasised that instead, DNB is complementing efforts by the MNOs with a view to accelerating adoption of 5G in the country. As such, he said end users are encouraged to contact their respective service providers to enquire about 5G availability.
YTL Communications CEO Wing K Lee said the group is excited to be the first in Malaysia to bring 5G to Malaysians, through its first-to-market 5G plans.
“The availability of 5G, supported by DNB’s robust ecosystem, will accelerate nationwide coverage and adoption of 5G.
“YTL Communications is committed to bringing a connected tomorrow to reality for all Malaysians,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh head David Hagerbro said the 5G network is complemented by end-to-end solutions that are able to manage the unique requirements of a single wholesale network.
Hagerbro said this has been proven by the ability to integrate six MNOs onto the DNB Multi Operator Core Network (MOCN) — a global first and a major technological milestone for Malaysia.
He was referring to DNB’s groundbreaking MOCN integration demonstration on Nov 10, 2021, which successfully integrated five MNOs to the DNB 5G Radio Access Network.
“The unprecedented MOCN integration clearly demonstrates that Ericsson’s leading 5G network experience and technology will allow DNB to share both network infrastructure and valuable spectrum resources with the MNOs, YTL Communications and TM.
“As we move forward to enable the digital transformation of Malaysia, I would like to thank the government for its efforts and commitment to 5G,” he added.
Ericsson was appointed as DNB’s 5G network equipment provider in July 2021, after an exhaustive selection process.