Telekom Malaysia signs up for country 5G trials

KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom on Saturday (Dec 4) said it will be conducting with a state-run agency ahead of a planned roll out of 5G network services this month.

The telecommunications firm said it will be participating in the pilot trials in some parts of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and two other urban centres.

It is the first telecom operator to sign up for trials. However, it did not say if it had signed a long term agreement on the usage of the government’s 5G network.

“We will continue to support the government’s aspiration to deliver 5G for the nation,” it said.

Malaysia’s major mobile carriers have raised concerns over transparency and pricing issues, Reuters reported last month.

Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), the state-owned network wholesaler for 5G, confirmed last month that no agreement had been reached with carriers, and acknowledged its initial timeline for negotiations had been “too optimistic”.

It also said talks with telecom firms to settle commercial terms were yet to start and long term agreements were expected to be signed in early 2022.

The deadlock followed a government decision in February to set up DNB to build a centralised wholesale 5G network, abandoning earlier plans to apportion spectrum to carriers, in a bid to accelerate infrastructure buildup nationwide.

The government has said 5G pricing would be cheaper for the mobile carriers than the cost the operators have incurred for 4G.

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