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Telekom Malaysia launches ‘first phase’ 5G service; U Mobile sets 3-Nov 5G launch date; Maxis yet to finalise DNB access deal

1 Nov 2022

Malaysian mobile network operators (MNOs) Telekom Malaysia and U Mobile have confirmed the signing of their respective Access Agreements (AAs) with Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) for access to Malaysia’s 5G Single Wholesale Network (SWN) and set out launch plans, closely following similar announcements from rivals Celcom and Digi.

For its part, Telekom Malaysia revealed it had put pen to paper on its AA on 30 October and today (1 November) launched what it termed ‘the first phase’ of its 5G services, offering unlimited data to existing ‘Unifi Mobile’ post-paid subscribers, as well as to new post-paid and pre-paid users. Meanwhile, saying it acknowledged that one of the ‘critical factors’ in 5G adoption is the willingness of customers to purchase suitable devices, the operator noted that it will offer bundled 5G service-and-device plans, ‘catering to a range of price points to ensure customer affordability from all backgrounds’.

Meanwhile, U Mobile also confirmed that it signed its AA on 30 October and now intends to make 5G connectivity available commercially from 3 November. According to the cellco, subscribers signed up to one of its ‘5G-ready’ post-paid or pre-paid plans will have access to 5G from that date, with prices for contract plans starting from MYR38 (USD8) per month for a tariff offering a 30GB data allowance (4G+5G) and unlimited calls to all networks.

Alongside direct confirmation from Telekom Malaysia and U Mobile that their respective AAs had been signed, another of Malaysia’s cellcos – YTL (Yes) – is also understood to have finalised its access deal with DNB, with Reuters citing Malaysia’s communications minister Annuar Musa as confirming that development. Note that YTL was the first to commercialise 5G services in Malaysia; having soft-launched over the DNB network in December 2021, the operator subsequently announced a full commercial launch in May 2022.

In related news, Maxis – now the sole MNO in the country yet to confirm the signing of its AA with DNB – has issued a statement reiterating its commitment ‘to playing an active role in bringing 5G to the nation’. However, in that statement the operator also confirmed its board was still assessing the governance requirements for the AA and gave no anticipated timeframe for the signing of a deal, adding only that it was ‘committed to bringing this [matter] to a close as soon as possible’.

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