5G deployment hits a roadblock

News December 2, 2021

According to recent news from Reuters, a state agency and industry executives claimed that none of Malaysia’s major mobile carriers have agreed to use the government’s 5G network yet due to transparency and pricing issues, ahead of a rollout planned for next month. The plan of rolling out 5G hits a roadblock at this stage, and there are no takers for Malaysia’s 5G plan as major telcos balk at overpricing, transparency from the current 5G policy. 

Who is DNB (Digital Nasional Berhad) 

Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), wholly owned by the Minister of Finance (Incorporated), was subsequently mandated by the Government of Malaysia. To be the single neutral party to deploy 5G infrastructure and network nationwide and is licensed under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (the Act) to provide wholesale 5G coverage and capacity to other licensees under the Act.

DNB was established to assist in delivering the following key outcomes in line with the MyDIGITAL aspirations:

  • Accelerate deployment of 5G infrastructure and network in Malaysia
  • Realise the potential of 5G in Malaysia to spur economic activity
  • Narrow the urban-rural digital divide and improve the current state of infrastructure
  • Avoid duplication of infrastructure and optimize the use of scarce resources
  • Promote service-based competition within the communications industry

The potential concerns of telco when using government 5G network

CEO of LGMS, Mr.Fong Choong Fook, shared the following metaphor with BFM: All telcos are like farmers. When they have their own land to grow, they will aggressively improve and determine how to achieve the farm’s goal. In that innovative environment, there will be healthy competition among the farmers in the market. Let’s implement the current situation of 5G into the ‘farmer scenario’; our government has only appointed one farmer to control the land. Every farmer in the market can only buy the harvested crops from that one authorized farmer and resell them to consumers .  

In that case, other farmers in the market could be less passionate and remain passive in utilizing the land because our government assigned the land to a private company to manage and maintain the land. The market monopolization may discourage the telcos from having their own innovation to design 5G plans for consumers. Where there is no competition, It is hard to drive innovation. Subsequently, it will not benefit consumers in the long run because the telcos are facing limitations in managing their own business in developing 5G networks. 

How might the delay in the 5G development affect consumers?

Usage of 5G networks did not significantly affect all of us yet since the dependencies on 5G are not common among citizens at this moment. However, 5G networks is a platform that could boost our lifestyle by providing a better bandwidth or lower latency for internet of things (IoT). Implementing the technology of 5G networks into a high density of urban areas is necessary to elevate our country’s technology to the next level. However, the challenges of accessing stable 4G network connections in some of our urban areas are yet to be solved.

CEO of LGMS, Mr. Fong Choong Fook shared that our telcos could have a strategic plan to improve current 3G and 4G coverage before adopting the 5G networks. 

What might happen next if we keep on delaying the development of 5G? 

Mr.Fong suggests the government to be more flexible and leave open places for the telco companies to play a part in building the 5G network, instead of assigning just one to monopolize the entire 5G network.  

About LGMS
The leading cybersecurity expert in Asia trusted by multinational corporations around the world. LGMS is a cybersecurity consulting company focused on delivering specialized cybersecurity assessments, consultations, and advisory services.  Established in 2005, LGMS has since built a reputation for its integrity, values, and best practices by providing world-class professional services to local, regional, and international clients across various industries and backgrounds. Visit www.lgms.global for more information.

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