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Malaysia ends 5G monopoly and will deploy second network starting in January

The Malaysian government is giving up a monopoly on the 5G network and will build a second network starting in January 2024.

Digitalization in Malaysia remains competitive; Image: Malay Mail

The Malaysian government unveiled a dual 5G network model at a press conference today, which will be built starting in January 2024. With this decision, 5G rollout will stay competitive as well.

In 2021, the government unveiled a monopoly for the entire 5G network, which will be operated by state agency Digital Nasional Berhad. The current plan will allow a second entity once DNB reaches over 80% of the population. This is to keep transparency high and prices low.

DNB currently reaches 57.8% of the population, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said at the press conference. By the end of the year, the agency is expected to serve 80% of the population.

Who will handle the expansion for the network has not been set. Fahmi says he is consulting with diplomats and will take a "neutral" position when it comes to commercial terms. The EU and US have already warned Malaysia in letters against Huawei rolling out its 5G network.


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