Four sources have told that Malaysia will introduce a second network for 5G from next year. This is the latest move by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration to promote competition and dismantle monopolies.
Malaysia’s state-run Digital Nasional Berhad has repeatedly delayed its 5G rollout since December 2021 due to industry concerns about pricing and transparency. There are also fears that a government-run network will result in a monopoly.
Anwar, who took office in November of last year, has ordered to review billions of dollars of government projects in an effort to improve governance and reduce wasteful expenditure. Anwar has also pledged to increase competition in order to provide better services to the public.
Four sources familiar with the discussions, who declined to identify themselves due to the sensitive nature of the issue, told Reuters that Anwar’s Government is now planning to launch a second network 5G in January 2024, to challenge DNB’s monopoly on the market.
The Communications and Digital Ministry told that no decision had been taken on 5G.
In a text message sent to the Communications Minister’s press secretary, Ahmad Firdaus Mohd said, “The matter is under review.” He did not elaborate.
In March of last year, the previous government rejected a recommendation from major carriers to create a second provider for 5G. DNB will deploy its network by the end of 2021, with two telecommunications companies participating on a test basis.
All but one of the five mobile operators in the country agreed to use DNB’s network in October, allowing more customers to access 5G services.
After Anwar’s election in November, announced that the plan for 5G would be reviewed, claiming it was not formulated transparently under the previous administration. DNB denied this claim.
Sources said that the plan for the second network is contingent upon DNB and mobile providers ensuring coverage of 5G networks reaches the target set by the government of 80% of the populated areas of the country by the end this year.