Local mobile network operators (MNO) are in no hurry to give Malaysians what they need and delays are to be expected in the national 5G network rollout.
This is despite a mutual agreement between MNO, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), and the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) that is expected to be announced sometime in June.
According to Kenanga Research, there are three major issues that the three parties have to resolve and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The first is price. The market insight firm said that MNO and DNB have to agree to a price that makes both parties happy and it will then have to be approved by MCMC.
Basically, it is a tug-of-war between profit and affordability.
Second, it says, is service. Now MNOs are worried that the quality of service of the 5G rolled out by DNB would not meet its promises and affect their reputation.
Finally, Kenanga Research says, is the equity stake offered in DNB. Although it feels confident that DNB has fulfilled MNO’s requirements.
Currently, it is estimated that only 10% of mobile users in the country are subscribed to Yes and Unifi, the two telcos that had signed up with DNB. Without more telcos, change and growth are expected to be at a minimum.
At the same time, not all 5G smartphones are listed as compatible with the network rolled out by DNB.
Kenanga Research also said that MNO’s acceptance of the equity stake in DNB is a sign of goodwill towards the Single Wholesale Network model and an agreement to industry demand for greater inclusion in 5G launches in the country.