Malaysia’s comms minister is touting the benefits of the 5G single wholesale network (SWN) being rolled out by state company Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), saying it’s a superior model to multiple 5G rollouts, and will enable consumers to experience cheaper and better services.
“The 5G service needs many towers, [so] imagine if each company builds its own towers in Kuala Lumpur,” said Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa on the TV 1 program Inklusif Menteri Annuar Musa: Kualiti Telco: Kerajaan Peka Rintihan Rakyat on Wednesday. “The city will be full of towers, when we only need a single highway, which is more efficient with no overlapping and better managed.”
He added that the SWN model doesn’t make DNB a monopoly, as the government is also offering a 70% stake to mobile network operators (MNOs) to encourage a public-private partnership model for the country’s 5G rollout. Stake sales negotiations with the MNOs will conclude at the end of June 2022.
Meanwhile, spectrum allocations for 5G will not be assigned to MNOs but to DNB exclusively, as DNB will manage the rollout of the infrastructure of the entire 5G network in the country as part of the National Digital Network (Jendela) Map.
Musa said having only one 5G infrastructure to manage would keep costs low, which could also be passed on to customers. He added the SWN model would encourage healthy competition among telcos, bringing high-quality 5G services to their subscribers at an affordable price.
DNB said that the estimated SWN network rollout cost will be around $380 million over the next ten years.
Musa also said customers having connectivity problems can raise their problems through the Jendela Map.
The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (K-KOMM) and Ministry of Finance (MoF) completed the memorandum on Malaysia’s 5G SWN rollout plan in March.