KUALA LUMPUR: Discussions on the implementation of the 5G single network or Single Wholesale Network (SWN) concept, with Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) as the operator, were carried out early this year, says foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
Saifuddin, who was then the communications and multimedia minister, said the discussions, involving the ministry (KKMM), Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the finance ministry (MoF), were held before the Cabinet meeting on Feb 3.
“KKMM, MCMC and MoF discussed the matter together before the Cabinet meeting on Feb 3, 2021 where the decision to set up a special purpose vehicle (now called DNB) was made.
“I was also involved in the next steps and was briefed by DNB and EY (Ernst & Young Consulting Services Sdn Bhd) further on the implementation plan,” he said via a tweet on his official Twitter today.
Yesterday, finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, in a post on social media, had stated that the concept was a proposal submitted by MCMC in the Final Report on Spectrum Allocation for Mobile Broadband Services, which was published at that time.
According to Tengku Zafrul, the report proposed the formation of a single entity by a 5G consortium comprising telecommunication companies (telcos), as compared with awarding the 5G spectrums individually.
He claimed that KKMM was also aware that a special purpose vehicle, wholly owned by the government, would be appointed to implement a single 5G network infrastructure nationwide.
On March 1, 2021, MoF announced the formation of DNB to manage the 5G SWN based on the cost recovery model rather than a profit maximisation model.
Tengku Zafrul was clarifying a statement by deputy communications and multimedia minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday that there was no consultation with KKMM on the appointment of DNB to undertake the deployment of the 5G network and infrastructrure via the SWN model.