Malaysia green lights second 5G network

Malaysia green lights second 5G network

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Pressure from Malaysia’s mobile operators and a review of a controversial policy to build a single national wholesale 5G network resulted in the government changing course and approving the rollout of a second nationwide network, Reuters reported.

The news agency noted details for a second network scheduled to be introduced in January 2024 need to be worked out, with the cabinet to discuss the issue on 19 April.

Malaysia’s policy for a single next-generation network attracted criticism from industry players from the start, with all five operators eventually agreeing terms to access the national wholesale network after month of negotiations.

State-founded Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), the company managing the single wholesale 5G network, claimed coverage of nearly 50 per cent of populated areas in early January, reaching 15 million people.

It aims to hit 80 per cent coverage before the end of 2024.

In December 2022, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim called for a review due to concerns about the transparency of the process of awarding the nationwide 5G equipment contract to Ericsson.

Major mobile operators had earlier called on the government to allow a second 5G network, arguing it would speed the initial deployment and increase security.

The proposal was rejected by the previous government.



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