Malaysia will have dual network model for 5G after 80% coverage

Malaysia said it would move to a dual network model for its 5G rollout after coverage reaches 80 percent, a move that follows widespread concerns about pricing and competition.
Malaysian mobile user image by The Star
For now, the rollout will continue under state agency Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said in a press conference.

“The government has agreed that a new entity can be established after we reach 80 percent coverage,” Fahmi said.

DNB has achieved 57.8 percent coverage of populated areas currently and is on track to hit 80 percent by the end of the year, he said.

Malaysia’s 5G rollout by DNB has been met with industry concerns over pricing and transparency, as well as worries that a single government-run network would result in a nationalised monopoly.

A recommendation by major carriers for a second 5G provider was rejected by the previous government in March last year.

The plan came under renewed scrutiny after Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who took office in November, announced a review of the 5G plan, saying it was not formulated transparently by the previous administration. DNB denied that claim.