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Award of 700Mhz Band Assignment to Telcos for Malaysia 5G Cancelled

The Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Dato’ Saifuddin bin Abdullah released a media statement today cancelling the assignment of the 700Mhz band to 5 Telecommunication companies (Telcos) in Malaysia.

Ministry of Communications and Multimedia KKMM

He first ordered the decision on 15 May 2020 but never announced it to the public until MalaysianWireless reported it on Monday. It was reported that the 700Mhz spectrum band for Malaysia 5G services were awarded to 5 Telcos namely: Altel Communications, Maxis, Celcom Axiata, Digi and Telekom Malaysia.

Altel was reported to have been assigned spectrum in the 900Mhz band as well.

Following the report on multiple media portals, the Minister decided to make a “U-turn” and cancelled his decision for the spectrum assignment on 700Mhz and 900Mhz.

Earlier the decision to assign the 700Mhz band came as a surprise to the Industry since the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) promised early this year for a tender process “intended to lower the capital expenditure (CAPEX) by minimising costs and prevent the duplication of infrastructure, at a time where improvements in 4G LTE networks are continuing.”

However, it is learned that a tender process for the 700Mhz band never took place.

Below is the full media statement released by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) in Bahasa Malaysia:

PEMBATALAN ARAHAN & PENENTUAN BERKENAAN PENGGUNAAN SPEKTRUM DI DALAM JALUR FREKUENSI 700MHZ, 900MHZ DAN 2600MHZ

Sumber spektrum merupakan satu aset negara yang diuruskan oleh Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC), di bawah Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM). Pengurusan dan kawal selia penggunaan spektrum ini adalah berdasarkan kepada peruntukan Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998 dan Peraturan-peraturan Komunikasi dan Multimedia (Spektrum) 2000.

Sepertimana yang kita sedia maklum, pengurusan dan penguntukan spektrum ini adalah penting untuk pembangunan negara melalui perkembangan pelbagai sektor seperti perkhidmatan sektor telekomunikasi, penyiaran, sains dan teknologi, kesihatan, maritim dan sebagainya.

Sehubungan dengan itu,18 instrumen termasuk Arahan dan Penentuan berkenaan penggunaan spektrum jalur frekuensi 700MHz, 900MHz, dan 2600MHz telah dibentangkan kepada saya. Atas dasar isu-isu teknikal, undang-undang dan perlunya mengikut proses yang telus, saya telah mengarahkan Pengerusi MCMC untuk membatalkan Arahan dan Penentuan tersebut serta mengkaji semula instrumen-instrumen tersebut dengan kadar segera.

Kerajaan melalui KKMM komited dalam usaha untuk membangunkan negara serta memberikan perkhidmatan yang terbaik dalam teknologi dan telekomunikasi, capaian internet jalur lebar berkelajuan tinggi dan kemudahan ICT terkini serta berkualiti tinggi.

DATO’ SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH
MENTERI KOMUNIKASI & MULTIMEDIA MALAYSIA
3 JUN 2020

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About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy