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Malaysian government considering allowing second 5G network rollout from next year?

17 Apr 2023

As part of efforts by Malaysia’s government to promote competition, the country plans to allow the introduction of a second 5G network from next year, Reuters reports, citing four unnamed sources. According to the news outlet, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s government – which came to power six months ago – is planning to introduce a second 5G network from January 2024 to challenge wholesale operator Digital Nasional Berhad’s (DNB’s) infrastructure monopoly. State agency DNB’s 5G rollout has seen a number of delays since its launch in December 2021, related in part to industry concerns over pricing and transparency.

It is understood that the plan for a second 5G network will be contingent on DNB and the nation’s retail mobile service providers ensuring that 5G coverage reaches the government’s target of 80% of the country’s populated areas by the end of this year. According to two of the sources, meanwhile, a proposal on the plan is expected to be submitted to the Cabinet of Malaysia on 19 April.

However, despite the claims that a second 5G network rollout will be permitted, Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital stressed that a decision had not yet been made, with Ahmad Firdaus Mohd, press secretary to the communications minister, cited as saying: ‘The matter is still under review.’

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