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Fahmi: No decision yet on DNB's 5G 'monopoly'

Publish date: Sun, 26 Mar 2023, 05:57 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: With the government taking action to break monopolies in the country, the attention has now turned to Digital Nasional Bhd, the special purpose vehicle created to drive the development of 5G infrastructure in Malaysia.

This is as several experts have called DNB a form of monopoly.

Digital and Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said no decision on the role of DNB had been made by the government as yet.

"We have yet to make a policy decision and I hope we will be able to do so in a week or two.

"We may not necessarily look only from the monopoly point of view, as there are many things we need to consider. InsyaAllah, we will announce it soon," he said.

DNB is a 5G single wholesale network (SWN) which is the sole entity mandated to roll out 5G nationwide.

However, efforts to get telecommunications companies on board have hit various speed bumps.

In 2021, DNB appointed Ericsson Malaysia to design and build the national 5G network at a cost of RM11 billion, far lower than the initial cost of RM15 billion.

Previously, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had said the government would rigorously review the rollout of the 5G network in Malaysia.

He had said the government would review the policy as the previous administration did not manage it in a transparent manner.

Since then, reports have said Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei are looking to challenge Ericsson in building Malaysia's 5G network.

Recently, Anwar had said all ministries had been asked to study existing monopolies under their purview, in the spirit of promoting transparent economic development and fair competition.

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