(Updated)

Finance Minister to explain module for 5G network on Thursday — Annuar

Finance Minister to explain module for 5G network on Thursday — Annuar
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 17): The module that will be used by the government in implementing the 5G network will be explained in detail by the Finance Ministry in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa. 

He admitted that there is currently a debate on which is better, the multi-system concept, namely the 5G network operated by various telecommunication companies or the single wholesale network system, which only involves a single company as planned to be used by the country.

Annuar said the government is aware that the single provider concept had a history of failure in several other countries such as Mexico.

“Studies have been done on the causes of failure and the information we've obtained so far is that the basis and background of the problems are very different and the single wholesale network model is not the same as what is planned to be used through DNB (Digital Nasional Bhd).

“However, Finance Minister will elaborate about DNB, because DNB is a company under the responsibility of the Finance Ministry, while the [communications and multimedia] ministry will regulate the spectrum distribution and the implementation of services later," he said.

Annuar said this when winding up the debate on the 2022 Supply Bill at the policy stage for the ministry in the House on Wednesday.

Replying to a question from Khalid Samad (PH-Shah Alam), who wanted to know if the government is confident that the 5G network would be rolled out faster under the single wholesale network system module, Annuar said this had been guaranteed by DNB itself.

“DNB has given a guarantee and the government has set a timeline within three years by next year for 36% coverage, after that before 2024, it will reach 80%. This is the timeline mandated to the DNB,” he said.

On the pricing, Annuar said negotiations are still ongoing and there has not been any final decision on it yet.

“For your information, negotiations between telecommunication companies and DNB are being handled by MCMC (the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission), as price negotiation and price regulation will be determined by MCMC through a mechanism provided under the law.

"The responsibility of the ministry and MCMC is to ensure a reasonable price and the price paid by the people is cheap," he said.

On the cost of RM16.5 billion to provide the technology, Annuar explained that it did not involve any direct funding from the government.

"This will be explained to the MPs during a meeting with the backbenchers later," he said, adding that the topic can be discussed in more detail on other platforms.

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