Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s new prime minister, has announced that his administration will launch a review of the country’s state-owned 5G network strategy, Reuters reports. With Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) having been set up under the previous government to oversee the rollout of the country’s 5G infrastructure, the new PM confirmed that the matter would be reassessed amid concerns there had been ‘no proper tender process’ in the appointing of Ericsson as DNB’s network development partner. ‘It needs to be reviewed because it was not done in a transparent manner,’ Anwar said.
In response to the development, DNB said it would cooperate with the government’s review and was keen to stress that the award of the contract to Ericsson had been conducted transparently. A statement issued by the wholesale operator read: ‘DNB hopes the review… will clear the air and enable full execution and implementation of the 5G rollout for the benefit of the nation.’
In related news, DNB and Ericsson claim to have achieved a world record distance for gigabit speeds over the former’s 5G network. A test conducted using 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum was reported to have achieved a peak throughput of 1Gbps at a record distance of 11.18km from a radio antenna in Butterworth, Penang to a point off the island.
Only last week DNB confirmed that its 5G network now covers ‘approximately 38% of populated areas nationwide’, including key industrial areas across the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor. Other coverage areas include parts of Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Perak, Kelantan, as well as Sabah and Sarawak. Looking ahead, DNB has claimed it is on track to extend its network footprint to cover 80% of the Malaysian population by 2024.