Malaysia intends to launch a second 5G network early next year.
According to Reuters, this is the latest policy shift by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s six-month-old administration focused on removing monopolies and encouraging competition.
Malaysia’s 5G rollout by state agency Digital Nasional Berhad has been delayed several times from its initial debut in December 2021 due to industry concerns about pricing and transparency, as well as concerns that a single government-run network would result in a nationalised monopoly.
Anwar has ordered assessments of billions of dollars in government projects since assuming office in November of last year in an attempt to boost governance and reduce unnecessary spending.
He has also promised to increase competition in order to provide better services to the public.
Anwar’s government is now aiming to launch a second 5G network in January 2024 to challenge DNB’s market dominance, according to four sources involved with the conversations who declined to be identified because to the sensitivity of the topic.
“The matter is still under review,” Ahmad Firdaus Mohd, the communications minister’s press secretary, said.
The previous government rejected a suggestion from major carriers for a second 5G provider in March of last year.
DNB will trial its network in late 2021 with the involvement of two telecoms companies.
However, the roll-out was investigated again after Anwar entered office in November and promised a review of the 5G plan, claiming that the previous administration had not designed it publicly.
That assertion was disputed by DNB.