The Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD) is suggesting that the government introduce a specialised grant in Budget 2024 to facilitate 5G adoption within the micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) sector.
Minister Fahmi Fadzil disclosed that he has submitted the proposal to the Finance Ministry.
Fahmi told reporters at the Ericsson Imagine Live Malaysia 2023 event, “We hope to secure the special grant to increase 5G usage among MSMEs, as 5G offers numerous advantages to them.”
He pointed out that the current adoption rate of 5G stands at a mere 4.2%, emphasising the need for increased efforts to unlock the full potential of 5G technology, according to Bernama.
“The grant sends a clear message to the industry that the government recognises the challenges MSMEs encounter when embracing 5G technology,” Fahmi added.
He highlighted the difficulties MSMEs face in procuring new 5G equipment and their limited awareness of the future benefits of investing in this technology.
To address this, Fahmi stated that he has requested the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and telecommunications companies to organise outreach programs targeting subscribers, especially enterprises.
These programs aim to educate them about the potential of 5G and where their investments could lead.
Additionally, the ministry is exploring ways to facilitate interactions between telecommunications companies and local government authorities (PBT) in the East Coast to gather their input on 5G tower requirements.
Fahmi explained that there are variations in requirements, such as the use of monopoles and the installation of fibre cables along roads, and these differences necessitate discussions. KKD is actively engaged in this process to bridge the digital divide through existing committees.
Fahmi responded to questions about the impact of reduced wholesale rates, as dictated by the new mandatory standard on access pricing, on Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM). He mentioned that a lower price could potentially attract more customers to subscribe to TM’s services.
He also noted that despite initial challenges, TM managed to recover and achieve profitability through product innovation and increased efficiency, emphasising the administration’s commitment to providing better, faster, more stable, and more affordable internet access to more Malaysians.