KL, 19 April 2023 – Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil confirmed that Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) will remain as the sole entity responsible for implementing 5G technology in Malaysia via a Single Wholesale Network (SWN). This statement follows a Reuters report indicating that several telecommunications companies are demanding establishment of another wholesale network for 5G implementation, thus creating two wholesale networks (dual wholesale network, DWN). The report said the second 5G network will be implemented as early as January 2024 as an option to DNB’s alleged monopoly of 5G.

The concept of DWN was rejected by the previous government, which decided to use a single wholesale network for 5G implementation given to DNB. Fahmi also confirmed that discussions on 5G implementation are ongoing and no final decisions have been made yet.

“We are in the review process. Discussions are ongoing with all relevant parties. But no decision has been made yet. We will wait for an announcement if there is anything new,” he said last Saturday.

The 5G implementation issue is a key focus of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar’s government, who wants to review the award of Government contracts and projects, including the 5G implementation in Malaysia. This revolves around allegations of an alleged monopoly by DNB and the appointment of contractors for the development of 5G infrastructure given to Ericsson.

Anwar was also reported to be open to appointing a second 5G implementation contractor from a list of bidding companies, including tech giants Huawei, ZTE, and Nokia. However, both Huawei and ZTE are plagued with various restrictions in many countries to engage in 5G implementation following allegations that they are being used as a tool for Chinese espionage, stealing intellectual property, and posing risks to national security. 

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