Will Malaysia’s 5G Rollout Stay On Course Or Take A New Route? Cabinet To Decide On Friday

DNB will meet with the Multimedia and Communications, and Finance Ministry on 4 March regarding the issue.
(credit: Kseniia Ilinykh / Unsplash)

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After only two telcos signed up with Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) last year, it seems that the national rollout of the 5G network has come to a standstill. 

However, Malay Mail reported today that the cabinet will decide if the national 5G rollow will continue via its Single Wholesale Network model (SWN) or switch to a Dual Wholesale Networks (DWN) model.

The decision is to be made this Friday (4 March) when the Ministry of Multimedia and Communication Ministry, and the Ministry of Finance, will sit down with DNB. 

The SWN model was designed to solve issues the country faces with the 4G rollout, and accelerate the adoption of 5G in the country by taking away power from telcos and handing it over to a single government controlled entity, DNB. 

DWN on the other hand is what the other big telcos that have not signed on with DNB want. These four telcos (Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile) want to form their own consortium saying that it will speed up initial deployment and create a competing network.

Another report by Malay Mail said that several sources with knowledge in the matter told them that switching to DWN will spell disaster for those who have signed up with DNB and would slow things down more than if the remaining telcos accept the SWN model. 

To put things into perspective, here’s the original plan: 5G services will be available in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and parts of Kuala Lumpur in December 2021. 

After that, it is planned to reach approximately 40% coverage in populated areas by the end of 2022.

Then it will be extended nationwide to cover other urban and rural areas and industrial parks, with a target of approximately 80% coverage in populated areas by 2024.

Right now, only the first part has been completed.

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