The Government of Malaysia decided to accelerate the deployment of 5G infrastructure and network in Malaysia to realise the potential of 5G in creating new economic opportunities and innovation for Malaysia.
Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) which is wholly owned by the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) was subsequently mandated by the Government of Malaysia to be the single neutral party to undertake the deployment of 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:
The rollout of the 5G network will be undertaken as a public-private partnership to optimise the use of the country’s spectrum assets for the benefit of the rakyat, enterprise, and government.
Domestic and global businesses with proven expertise and experience in the telecommunications industry will play a significant role in the rollout and development of the national 5G objectives.
DNB will collaborate with relevant stakeholders including government, regulators, state and local authorities, network equipment providers, telecommunications operators, infrastructure owners, as well as various user groups which will benefit from the use of 5G products and services.
DNB will seek to align its business principles with the various aforementioned stakeholders. These principles include:
The ensuing economic benefits that will flow from 5G adoption will be a key driver of the country’s digital economy aspirations, as detailed in the MyDIGITAL Blueprint announced in February 2021.
The entire 5G network rollout is expected to cost RM11 billion over the next 10 years.
Ericsson has been appointed as the 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 including Bumiputera vendors.
The associated infrastructure which will directly benefit the domestic telecommunications industry is expected to cost approximately RM7 billion over the same 10-year period.
This RM7 billion represents infrastructure spending such as towers, telecommunications fiber, power and other costs, which will directly benefit government-linked companies, Bumiputera contractors and other companies that are invested in the telecommunications industry.
The cost of deployment of the estimated RM11 billion 5G network will be financed through a mixture of deferred payments to vendors, trade and working capital financing, and Sukuk programmes that will be raised by the domestic banking industry.
The digital transformation catalysed by 5G coverage stands to create a potential GDP uplift of some RM100 billion and a further 100,000 new jobs by the year 2030.
5G services will be made available in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and parts of Kuala Lumpur in December 2021. Thereafter, it is planned to reach approximately 40% coverage in 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 end of 2024. These plans are presently being finalised and more details will be shared upon approval of the plans by the MCMC.