PETALING JAYA: A think tank has called for the publication of a feasibility study justifying the selection of the single wholesale network (SWN) under government-owned Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB).
“This study should be made available to the public and given to a relevant parliamentary select committee (PSC) to scrutinise and report its findings,” said Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive Tricia Yeoh.
In a statement, she pointed out that no independent economic or regulatory study had been published before the SWN was announced in 2021.
“A feasibility study and its deliberations will provide evidence on the government’s position in reversing the communications and multimedia ministry’s long-held policy to enable market competition at both the infrastructure and retail levels,” she said.
She added that DNB and the government must seriously consider and mitigate for the potential risks of a monopolised 5G infrastructure.
Yeoh also pointed out that the lack of competition and rollout based on supply rather than demand may result in increased costs for consumers and a lack of options for quality, pricing and innovation based on actual demand.
“Without competitive pressures in the form of alternative infrastructure, DNB has reduced incentives to ensure the quality of service for mobile network operators and consumers,” she said.
DNB, which is owned by the finance ministry, was appointed by the government to be the single party undertaking the deployment of 5G infrastructure and network throughout Malaysia.
Last December, DNB said it would offer wholesale 5G services to mobile network operators at no cost during an initial rollout, after concerns from operators over its pricing plans.