TM to provide fibre backhaul on 5G deployment

The partnership with DNB is another example of public-private partnership in the rollout of telecommunications infrastructure, says TM 

By AZREEN HANI / Pic by BERNAMA

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM) said it will continue to provide the fibre backhaul as committed in the signing of the agreement with Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) on Dec 16 last year. 

“We look forward to rolling out 5G-enabled products and solutions to our unifi and TM ONE customers. As such, we are currently undertaking internal customer and network trials to bring an improved convergence proposition of fibre plus 5G services to our unifi and TM ONE customers. This is subject to finalising our wholesale agreement with the DNB,” it said in a statement yesterday. 

The telecommunication firm said the partnership with DNB since December is another example of public-private partnership in the rollout of critical telecommunications infrastructure. 

“TM welcomes and supports the government’s decision to continue with the Single Wholesale Network (SWN) model for the deployment of 5G in the country. We believe this reflects the national aspiration for an inclusive digital Malaysia,” the firm said. 

According to TM, the SWN model reflects the shared responsibility to meet the collective objectives of 5G for Malaysia where telcos will focus on investing and developing innovative 5G products and solutions for end customers. 

DNB, it said, shall focus on network-build towards faster roll-out of coverage and capacity in a cost-efficient manner. 

In a separate statement, local telecommunication companies — Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Bhd and U Mobile Sdn Bhd (MNOs) — said they will engage with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, MCMC, and key industry players on further details on implementation of the SWN model, including the proposed shareholding offer and transaction process. 

MNOs said in a statement that they welcome the Cabinet’s decision to continue with the SWN model, as well as the offer for MNOs to take up an equity stake in DNB. 

“We are committed to realising the country’s digital ambitions and believe in the benefits that 5G will bring to businesses, customers and government in strengthening Malaysia’s competitiveness in the region,” the firms added. 

“We believe that a successful 5G deployment for Malaysia will be built on the principles of transparency, sustainability, and security. We look forward to working on the next steps to build robust and future-proof communications infrastructure for Malaysia.” 

On Wednesday, the government announced its decision to maintain SWN for the implementation of the 5G networks. 

It will also open space for telecommunications companies (telcos) that hold equity in DNB with 70% of DNB equity to be offered to telcos, while the government continues to hold 30%. 

Ownership, equity value and other aspects related to this proposed equity participation are subject to negotiations between DNB and the telcos, where the agreement is targeted to be finalised in the future. 

“Maintaining the SWN model symbolises Malaysia’s strong pub- lic-private partnership model, as well as a robust private sector financing ecosystem, all of which will boost investor confidence in Malaysia,” Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said in a press conference. 

According to him, the Malaysia Family public-private partnership approach will also facilitate DNB to achieve its target of covering 80% of the country’s population by 2024, when 5G will be supplied at a wholesale price of less than 20 sen per GB, lower than the current cost of producing 4G. 

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