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Rollout of 5G in Malaysia will now cost a total of RM26 Billion – 12th Malaysia Plan

5G network in Malaysia is expected to be rolled out quickly, targeting availability at the end of the year, as planned under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

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During the tabling of the five-year (2021-2025) 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP/RMK12) by the current Prime Minister (PM) of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday, he said, “For Malaysia to become a high-income and high-tech nation, we have no option but to adopt new technologies and strive to create as well as develop our own technology. To catalyse economic growth, we also need to ensure that infrastructure is strengthened while at the same time developing future talent,”

To expedite the implementation of the 5G network nationwide by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), an additional RM15 billion will be invested by the private sector, says the Prime Minister.

Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) is a wholly owned company of the Ministry of Finance (MOF). It will exclusively own, build and operate the 5G infrastructure and offer 5G as a Single Wholesale Network (SWN) to other Telecommunication companies. Malaysia has identified the 700MHz, 3.5GHz and 26/28GHz as the pioneer spectrum bands for the roll-out of 5G in Malaysia.

With the latest announcement on the additional RM15 billion investment, 5G rollout in Malaysia will now cost a total of RM26 billion.

Previously, according to DNB, the entire 5G network rollout in Malaysia is expected to cost RM11 billion over the next 10 years. It has appointed Ericsson as the sole network equipment provider at a cost of approximately RM4 billion, of which an estimated RM2 billion will be spent in Malaysia through domestic suppliers and contractors. The remaining RM7 billion will be spent on infrastructure such as towers, telecommunications fiber, power and other costs. Ericsson (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Ericsson) will provide vendor financing for the supply, delivery, and management of the entire 5G network. Meanwhile DNB will securitise future cashflows from its wholesale business via Sukuk to finance all other network operating expenditure.

On its website, which is now accessible to the public, DNB said that 5G services will first be made available in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and parts of Kuala Lumpur in December 2021.

5G in Malaysia is expected to reach approximately 40% (coverage) of the populated areas by the end of 2022 and subsequently will be extended nationwide to cover other urban and rural areas and industrial parks, with a target of approximately 80% coverage in populated areas by 2024. DND says that these plans are presently being finalised and more details will be shared upon approval of the plans by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Meanwhile, on 4G, the Government of Malaysia and the private sectors (Telecommunication companies), will jointly invest RM28 billion to improve the existing 4G LTE networks. As of August 2021, 94% of populated areas have access to 4G coverage, the PM said. He added that the speed of mobile broadband services has reached 29.1 megabits per second (Mbps) and more than 6,000 premises now have access to fixed line broadband services.

Malaysia aims to achieve the following as part of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP):

  • 100% 4G coverage in populated areas.
  • Wider 5G coverage.
  • Speed of mobile broadband more than 100Mbps.
  • 100% of households subscribing to internet.
  • 9 million premises passed for fixed broadband service.
  • All students have internet connectivity and access to digital devices.
[PDF]– Full Speech Transcript – Prime Minister (PM) of Malaysia during the tabling of 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP)

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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