Malaysian prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has revealed the government’s plans related to the rollout of 5G technology in the country. In a speech, he confirmed that the administration expects to invest MYR15 billion (USD3.7 billion) over a ten-year period on the nationwide deployment. It was also confirmed by Muhyiddin that the rollout of next generation broadband connectivity will be undertaken by a ‘special purpose vehicle under the Malaysian government’ which will be given the necessary spectrum for the 5G rollout, and will manage the nation’s infrastructure – which all licensed telcos will have equal access to. According to the PM, deploying 5G in this manner will enable retail providers to ‘generate higher returns and, in turn, provide better and cheaper 5G services to consumers’, while it was also suggested it would boost usage and ‘enhance economic capability in triggering more product and service innovations’. Under the government’s plans, it is anticipated that Malaysians will begin to gain access to 5G ‘in stages’ by the end of this year.
Alongside the headline announcement, Muhyiddin also used his speech to reconfirm that a total of MYR21 billion is to be invested over the next five years through the Jalinan Digital Negara Plan (JENDELA) – announced in September 2020 – to strengthen existing connectivity. In terms of specifics in this area, the PM noted that the number of premises passed by fibre is expected to reach 7.5 million by the end of 2022, rising to nine million premises by end-2025. Such network development, it was noted, would ensure the country is ‘better prepared to switch to fifth generation cellular networking technology in the near future’.