Malaysia 5G wholesale operator denies state funding

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Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), an entity set up by Malaysia’s government to run a single wholesale 5G network, went on the defensive a day after reports of political scrutiny, insisting there is no state funding or guarantees anticipated or expected other than an initial start-up investment of MYR500 million ($110.9 million).

In a statement, DNB reiterated it will cost MYR16.5 billion to deploy the nationwide infrastructure over a ten-year period, which will be completely funded by revenue generated from the sale of capacity to mobile operators.

It responded a day after Reuters reported the nation’s new Prime Minister will review the controversial policy to create a single wholesale 5G network due to a lack of transparency in the formulation of the plan.

DNB noted major operators Celcom Axiata, Digi, Telekom Malaysia, U Mobile and YTL Communications had agreed terms to access the wholesale network and have launched retail 5G services.

Maxis continues to review the terms of the access agreement.

The state-run company said the 5G network currently reaches about 38 per cent of populated areas nationwide and is on target to hit a previously-agreed 80 per cent by 2024.

Yesterday (5 December), DNB and equipment supplier Ericsson stated they clocked a throughput of 1Gb/s on the 5G network using the 28GHz band at a distance of what they claim is a record of 11.18km from a radio antenna.


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