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May 9, 2023

Malaysia to Develop Second 5G Network

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May 9, 2023

On May 3, Malaysia announced that it will adopt a dual network model for its 5G rollout as early as 2024, following a months-long official review of state-based 5G wholesale provider Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) over concerns about pricing transparency, and competition. Telecommunications subsidiaries Celcom and Digi have terminated their respective share subscription agreements with DNB, seeking to participate in new processes. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) met on May 8 to discuss the transition from a single network model to a dual network model. According to Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, the government will not determine the infrastructure provider. U.S. and EU envoys to Malaysia reportedly wrote to the government, warning of national security and foreign investment risks associated with Huawei participating in Malaysia’s telecommunications infrastructure development. Following the government’s announcement of its official review of DNB, the Chinese telecommunications equipment company has been lobbying to become involved in Malaysia’s 5G rollout. Following DNB reaching its 80% coverage target for populated areas, a second entity will be established and the government will relinquish its 35 percent equity stake in DNB, making the wholesale provider a fully private company.

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