KUALA LUMPUR: The implementation of the 5G network by Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) will enable mobile network operators (MNOs) in Malaysia’s telecommunications industry to potentially save about RM30 billion in infrastructure construction cost in the next 10 years, the finance ministry said.
“This will enable MNOs to focus on improving 4G services and providing innovative and high-value 5G services to benefit people and businesses,” said finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz.
Five MNOs – Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), U Mobile Sdn Bhd, and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd (YES) – have signed 5G access agreements with DNB as of Oct 31.
Tengku Zafrul described the agreements as an important achievement to implement the country’s 5G vision to drive long-term digital economy development.
“With the participation of the five MNOs to provide wholesale access by DNB, their customers are expected to be able to receive the benefits of speed and 5G connectivity more inclusively at affordable prices,” he said in a statement.
Tengku Zafrul said the cost of developing the 5G network is RM16.5 billion over a 10-year period, without any government funding or guarantees other than an equity injection worth RM500 million to start DNB’s operations.
He said DNB is committed to expediting the 5G network and infrastructure development.
“The 5G network now covers nearly 11 million people across Malaysia, equivalent to more than 33% coverage in populated areas.
“As of the end of August, DNB remains on track to reach about 80% coverage in populated areas by end-2024,” he said.
He also said the setting up of 5G services will raise productivity, efficiency and innovation, and is expected to create 750,000 high-skilled jobs as well as generate RM650 billion in gross domestic product cumulatively until 2030.