by ANIS HAZIM
MALAYSIA’S five mobile network operators (MNOs) have signed an access agreement with Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) to lease DNB’s 5G network on Oct 31, according to caretaker Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
Tengku Zafrul said that the signing by the five MNOs, namely Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, U Mobile Sdn Bhd and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd, is an important milestone in implementing the country’s 5G vision to drive the long-term development of the digital economy.
“With the participation of these five MNOs in the provision of wholesale access by DNB, their customers are expected to be able to receive the benefits of fast speed and 5G connectivity more inclusively at affordable prices,” he said in a statement today.
Currently, the 5G network covers nearly 11 million people across Malaysia, equivalent to more than 33% of coverage in populated areas.
“As at the end of August 2022, DNB remains on track to achieve approximately 80% coverage in populated areas by the end of 2024,” he said.
To note, the cost of building the 5G network amounted to RM16.5 billion over a period of 10 years, without any government funding or guarantee other than a RM500 million equity injection for DNB to begin its operation.
“With the implementation of DNB’s first single 5G wholesale network, MNOs in the Malaysian telecom industry has the potential to save about RM30 billion in terms of infrastructure construction costs over the next 10 years,” he said.
Moreover, he said that this will also enable MNOs to focus on improving 4G services and providing innovative as well as high-value 5G services for the benefit of the people and businesses.
“The creation of 5G services will also increase productivity, efficiency and innovation which is expected to create 750,000 highly skilled jobs and generate RM650 billion for the GDP cumulatively until 2030,” he added.