If you have been following the progress of the country’s 5G network, then you would be aware that the government is currently reviewing the existing Single Wholesale Network (SWN) implementation by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). Now, a new report has claimed that a second 5G network is in the works.
Citing four anonymous industry sources, the report from Reuters claimed the second 5G network will be rolled out in January 2024. That being said, it seemed that the plan has not yet been fully confirmed though as two of those sources also told Reuters that the plan’s proposal would only be submitted to the Cabinet during its weekly meeting this coming Wednesday.
Interestingly enough, this report came just days after the Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said that he would be meeting Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to finalize the matter surrounding the country’s 5G network. Back in mid-December 2021, Reuters also the one who broke the news that Celcom, Digi, Maxis, and U Mobile had pitched Dual Wholesale Network (DWN) before it was officially confirmed by all four telcos several days later but the proposal got shot down soon after.
Despite the earlier decision to review DNB’s 5G contract with Ericsson, the government has since asked the company to accelerate its 5G rollout. According to the original plan, DNB aimed to bring 5G to 80% of the populated areas in Malaysia by the end of 2024 but the dateline has been shifted to the end of this year as per Anwar’s announcement during the tabling of Belanjawan 2023 back in February [pdf – page 35.].
When asked for the government’s take on the report from Reuters, Fahmi pointed out that no decisions have been made regarding 5G and DNB as discussions are still ongoing with all the related parties. With that, we reckoned that DNB’s status quo remains unchanged for now.
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