Malaysia Says 5G Adoption Remains Low Despite Growing Coverage

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Malaysia’s Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said that 5G adoption rate In Malaysia remains low despite the growing network coverage, local newspaper The Star reported.

The official said that the current 5G adoption rate in Malaysia was 4.2%, despite 5G network coverage reaching 68.8%.

The minister also said that the government will ensure 5G coverage continues to expand and hits 80% in populated areas by the end of the year.

He added that the high cost of 5G devices was among the main reasons for the low adoption rate of 5G services.

Fadzil also said the ministry will foster closer ties with local operators and Korean vendor Samsung to provide affordable 5G devices for users in Malaysia.

Last month, Fahmi said the ministry would meet with local mobile network operators to address reports on carriers imposing extra charges for 5G subscriptions.

Local telcos Telekom Malaysia, CelcomDigi, YTL Communications, U Mobile and Maxis had all agreed to the wholesale access agreement with state-run network operator DNB.

DNB was set up by the Malaysian government in 2021 as a special purpose vehicle to develop the country’s 5G network infrastructure, which private telecommunications firms would use to offer 5G services to their customers.

However, Malaysia’s 5G roll-out by DNB had raised concerns over pricing and transparency, as well as worries that a single state-run 5G network would result in a nationalized monopoly.

Due to these concerns, the current prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, had previously announced an overall review of the rollout of the national 5G network due to the lack of transparency. In May, the government announced it will enable the deployment of a second 5G network in 2024, adding that a new entity will be created to manage Malaysia’s second 5G network.

Malaysia’s Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil recently said that DNB will continue to roll out 5G network infrastructure in the country until 80% coverage is achieved by the end of this year. The Malaysian government also confirmed that DNB will be taken over by a private entity once it achieves its 5G population coverage target.

Source: RCR Wireless